Tesco Keeps Pushing Fresh & Easy

Fresh & Easy, UK-based Tesco’s 10,000-square-foot grocery concept in the US, had booming same-store sales growth in its latest quarter, up 30% to 40% year over year, company officials recently reported.

The chain is still growing, too. Tesco’s management is planning 60 new stores this year, bringing its total to 170 by the end of the fiscal year.

Fresh & Easy has a place on its Web site where developers can submit requests for a new store. Here is a map with its current locations.

However, one analyst following Tesco, Sam Hart at Charles Stanley & Co in London says: “There have been quite significant teething problems at Fresh & Easy. In the near term the jury will remain out.”

Does Fresh & Easy seem to be taking off in your area? Or have stores seemed to lag?

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14 Responses to “Tesco Keeps Pushing Fresh & Easy”


  1. 1 James June 16, 2009 at 7:23 am

    I don’t think customers are accepting these stores especially in their suburban locations. Tesco is running way behind their original roll out projections. I think the concept, their product mix, the pricing, all miss the mark by a wide measure. Tesco claims to have done extensive market analysis prior to the roll out, I don’t believe it. The concept looks like an attempt to force feed social engineering to Americans, they are bland and uninteresting stores. Tesco should visit small towns across America where there are thousands of small grocery sotres in the ten to twenty K range, they might learn something.

  2. 2 Broker June 16, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I went into one of their stores during the ICSC show in LV in 2008.I expected something like the food sections of the new Targets with some additional high quality produce and/or prepared food. Instead it looked like a collection of junk food and other stuff they got a deal on. What a disapointment.

  3. 3 Luca Brasi June 16, 2009 at 8:57 am

    The stores are terrible.

    I recently walked into a store in Central Orange County at 4pm on a Thursday, and I was the only customer in the store. I spent about 10 minutes in the store and bought nothing. During that time no one else walked in.

    I’ve been into several others, and never once got the feeling that the store was generating much business.

    And why would it? I don’t think the prices are that great, selection is poor and the pre-made meals are unapealing, priced too high with portions too small.

    And all this without a guarantee from the parent corp?

    Yikes

  4. 4 RE Broker Extraordinaire June 16, 2009 at 11:22 am

    In Vegas, Tesco has been converting former Rite Aid stores into Fresh & Easy’s all over town. The appeal is for upwardly mobile professionals – like me – to be able to walk into a place and picking up a quick meal. But for some reason, the feeling I got was like it’s openning a refridgerator and seeing left overs. I know, I know, it’s the convenience of a freshly prepared meal. The food is adequate, but I would only go again for that sake only.

  5. 5 Jarod K June 16, 2009 at 11:25 am

    They are, by their own admittance, behind schedule in their expansion plan. However, they are one of the only tenants doing deals right now. It would not surprise me to see 3 -4 more along the Central Coast of California within 18 months. I expect them to pick up market share and emerge with a stronger presence in the coming years. One is slated to open in my area next month, the verdict is out.

    http://www.twitter.com/jarodk

  6. 6 Jay June 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Wow! I’ll be certain to base any plans to get involved with this chain on the personal anecdotes of post commenters. At least James makes a case for overall success/failure.

  7. 7 Ali June 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I went in b/c people at work were raving about how great it was, I thought the pirces were high, the food was unfresh and I ended up abandoning my cart with 3 items in it. It just wasn’t impressive, I knew i’d have to go to another store anyways so I figured why waiste my time, they don’t have what I need here.

  8. 8 GoodThingsTakeTime June 16, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Methinks the above posters all work for Trader Joe’s. This concept is just starting to get legs under it. Give it time.

  9. 9 James June 17, 2009 at 7:06 am

    These stores need a make over and quick before they chase everyone away. The presentation is very clinical, cold and unappealing. The Italian Green Grocery in my old neighborhood knew more about product mix and merchandising than this mega-corporation. As a landlord I’d be cautious about signing deals with them. If they don’t come up with something that attracts customers soon they will be gone.
    Dear Tesco, Americans like to have fun while they shop, they like to be proud of where they shop, remember price isn’t everything, we are are not exactly practical, we are so much more than that, and finally we are very impatient, so don’t take too long fixing this.
    Personally I think the recession is going away because Americans are bored to death with it!

  10. 10 Gator June 17, 2009 at 10:43 am

    With a slow start and a low sales volume base, it is real easy to get a 30-40% comp in year 2!!!

  11. 11 Paul Booth June 18, 2009 at 5:14 am

    The company has reported a 143% increase in sales for the last quarter compared to last year. A lot of people like what they see. Tesco will keep tinkering till they get it right. Not easy to do this during a recession. Also if it is not a good idea why are Wall-Mart copying it.

  12. 12 Paul Booth June 18, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Her what another reader said: “I am beginning to like shopping at Fresh N’ Easy… They are building one a block from my house so I think I might shop there more regularly when they open it… This week I found a very low calorie honey dijon salmon pack…

    I thought what the heck… I’ll give it a try so I grilled it up and you know it wasn’t half bad.
    At $4 it was way cheaper than any restaurant salmon… I put it on a foam plate cuz I was feeling kinda trashy that day…”

  13. 13 Paul Booth June 18, 2009 at 5:24 am

    and one more: “Living in downtown Newark has a multitude of perks — access to great transit to New York, affordable rents, and a nice, growing community, not to mention a state of the art performing arts center and a brand new sports arena around the corner.
    So why is it that the grocery stores haven’t yet caught on to Newark’s growing downtown, a market that is hungry, literally, for some options of fresh produce and healthy, ready to eat meals? How do we know a grocery store like this is needed? Here are some examples:
    A friend of mine downtown was ordering food for delivery every night because he couldn’t find a grocery store within walking distance. Other friends were taking cabs to grocery stores so they could stock up on pantry items, and they later went on the ‘Oprah diet’ (a week’s worth of frozen food was delivered to their doorstep so they could avoid having to prep meals themselves and venture out of town to shop.)

    Hungry, anyone?
    Obviously people are spending money on food – lots – and they could be spending this money more locally if a viable option was available. The answer, in my opinion? If you’ve heard of Fresh & Easy, you’ll know exactly the direction I’m taking this. Fresh & Easy is a small-sized grocery store brand that was started by the European grocery chain, Tesco.

    When they were expanding into the American market, they had market researchers living with American families for a year to study their eating and buying habits (!). After that, they created Fresh & Easy, a really brilliant answer to what most Americans, especially busy working adults, need in a grocery store.

    Fresh & Easy stores are out west now, and I had my first Fresh & Easy experience over the weekend in Gilbert, Arizona. This is why I think it would be such a perfect fit for Newark:
    · They have a wonderful, fresh produce section, with most items packaged in small portion sizes

    Fresh produce

    · It has a large ready to eat meals section with meals for 1 or 2 people, but nice large portions (read: leftovers!)

    Ready to eat meals

    Good quality, decent priced food

    Even a samplings bar!
    · It’s a smallish grocery store, so it wouldn’t need as much real estate as your typical national-chain

    Now, I know there are new stores popping up all the time in Newark, and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone was already talking to a big grocery chain like Trader Joes or Whole Foods (which would also be awesome) and coaxing them to come our way. But I can tell you, from a resident’s perspective, it’s time for a grocery store to start scoping out sites, and building parking lots and grocery cart caddies, because believe me, there is a market that is ready for it! We’ll have the welcome mat waiting.

  14. 14 Tami July 24, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I LOVE Fresh & Easy….I’m hoping they put one closer to my home in Reseda (SoCal), as I am driving to Van Nuys for the closest one. Prices are great, premade meals are good, staff is friendly!!
    I’m not sure where these other posters went, as I don’t agree with many of them at all. Go to Facebook, then Fresh & Easy and you will see great comments and ideas!


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