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The Financial Times reports that Tesco’s California operations - where it operates three-quarters of its US Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores - could be threatened by “a proposed change to liquor laws” there that “would ban sales of alcohol at self-service checkouts.”

All of Tesco’s Fresh & Easy stores have only self-checkout lanes, and analysts say that if extra staff had to be hired to handle liquor sales, it would create additional pressure on already thin profit margins.

Tesco says that its staff does check ID for anyone buying liquor, and charges that the bill is being pushed by pro-union interests that are angered by Tesco’s non-union status.

A similar bill was passed by the legislature last year but was vetoed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; it is not anticipated that current Governor Jerry Brown would take the same position.
KC's View:
No doubt Tesco’s California lobbyists will be working overtime on trying to derail this legislation, which sounds sort of bogus if, in fact, staffers are interceding on all - or at least, all suspicious - alcohol sales.

Hard to imagine that this would be enough to get Tesco to either sell or pull the plug on its Fresh & Easy experiment, which is what some people think. But methinks the clock may be ticking more loudly that it was just a year ago.