Tesco takes up Twitter for Fresh & Easy

LOS ANGELES - Tesco-owned US retail chain Fresh & Easy has signed on to social networking website Twitter to communicate with its customers.

The US convenience store chain's Twitter profile has over 900 customers signed on to receive regular updates.

The company's management is using the website to announce new store openings or seasonal offers, while answering customer queries and solving issues with a human response.

One customer asked why stock was "a little sparse" over the last couple of visits -- Fresh & Easy replied that stock tended to be lower at the end of the day due to shipping schedules.

Fresh & Easy also joked with a customer about the large number of people attending a store opening in California, with a link to a Flickr page showing a photo of the queue outside the store.

The chain also offers recipe suggestions and updates about its charity work in the US.

Fresh & Easy operates over 100 stores across the western US and also keeps customers updated with a company blog.

Other US corporations using Twitter to engage customers include McDonalds, which uses the website for its annual Monopoly competition.

Starbucks also uses the service and has over 30,000 followers. Recently, it used Twitter to debunk myths that the company was funding the Israeli army after a number of customers began to boycott its stores.

However, companies in the UK have been slow to take up the microblogging service. Tesco itself does not have a Twitter page.

Virgin Media has a Twitter page but only has 94 users signed up to receive updates.

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