EL SUGUNDO, Calif. - Tesco's U.S. division here has secured two Southern California locations to open its small-format food stores next year, according to reports. The British supermarket operator is planning one 14,000-square-foot location in a shopping center in Fullerton and another near a strip center in Laguna Hills. The company recently said it has scouted 300 potential locations for its stores, which it expects to begin opening next year. In a conference call with investors yesterday, Steve Burd, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Safeway, said his company was prepared to face the new competition. "We know their sites, and it's quite a mixture. Some are low-income areas and others are high-income areas, and as we look at what they're doing, it's a little confusing."