Tesco considers options for failed Fresh & Easy push - The Packer

Tesco considers options for failed Fresh & Easy push

12/05/2012 01:37:00 PM
Tom Karst

“From the first time I went into the stores, they were very dull and whatever their value proposition was not clear,” he said.

Bishop said Fresh & Easy never bridged the huge cultural gap between U.K. and U.S. retailing.

As opposed to a beautiful wet rack and a stunning leaf lettuce display, prepackaged produce didn’t have the “fresh” appeal implied in the Fresh & Easy image, said Ed Odron, owner of Stockton, Calif.-based Ed Odron Produce Marketing Consulting.

“In California the expectations were different than people saw when they walked in the store.”

Bishop said Fresh & Easy’s struggles were compounded by strange store locations that didn’t seem to properly value traffic and demographics, he said.

Goodwin said there is speculation that Wal-Mart could go after Fresh & Easy stores for a small-format store.

If Tesco is shopping its Fresh & Easy stores to U.S. retailers, Bishop said operators like Dollar General or Aldi may be interested. Aldi hasn’t yet established a foothold in California and Dollar General also is in an expansion phase.

Peterson said the locations of the Fresh & Easy stores could hold back interest from other retailers.

Bishop said small-format stores have a bright future, despite the failure of Fresh & Easy.

The consumer migration to the Internet in purchasing during the next 10 years should make smaller stores more attractive in the future, he said.

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cali  |  December, 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM

This is a really a great place to shop and the food is very fresh! Self check outs are not dufficult if you know what you doing if you dont want to check yourself out they are there to help you!! the ready meals are all made fresh in riveraside cali with the USDA on site also the the salads and sandwichs and the fruit is all cut by hand! I am very sad tesco wants to pull the pulg on fresh and easy!!! I will miss you frash and easy!!! RaeRae

Daniel Torres    
Gonzales CA>  |  December, 10, 2012 at 02:20 PM

maybe then can ask Bubba or Bufford at Walmart on how to be successful

CA  |  December, 10, 2012 at 03:13 PM

they should have started by NOT trying to compete with hispanic stores... anyone with any kind of experience in the business knows the F&E format would lose in some of the first markets they went into. i've seen some stores plop down in areas that work, and others in areas where they can't even win over the guy who buys a sandwich in the gas station! i think they also made some early mistakes in how they treated the grower/shipper community... a lot of the wrong attitudes in the wrong places.

Los Angeles  |  December, 11, 2012 at 03:59 PM

It's a shame to see Fresh & Easy go. They offered some innovative and flavor rich ready-to-eat meals at a fair price. They offered locals tremendous coupon discounts amounting to 15% on a $25 bill. I actually liked the number of private label offering they had - similar to Trader Joe vs brands. If you live in Los Angeles, the mainstream grocers (Vons & Ralphs) are so outragously priced on ordinary items, it's easy to understand why people want alternatives. The comment with competing with Latino supermarkets is true - they initially entered those markets. But if you live in those areas it is nice to have a CHOICE of something besides Super A and a bodega. Walmart would win by buying these assets.

Secaucus, NJ  |  December, 11, 2012 at 04:56 PM

My wife and I loved F&E stores that we found in Arizona and California, and hoped that a similar concept could make its way east. We live in a community with no supermarket and could benefit from a small market. Nevertheless, I agree with every negative brought out in the article. The locations seemed so poorly chosen and it would seem that they were driven by low cost real estate. Yes, they reminded one somewhat of Trader Joes. F&Es private branding seemed good to me. They are absolutely the only market that seemed to have conquered the self check-out concept. I found it easy and dependable. Generally I avoid self checkout. Tesco has done so well in matching to store to the community in England. I think they made a near miss in America. Someone else will pick up this wedge market and get it right. It amazes me what Kohls has done in its field. This concept needs someone as smart in merchandising as Kohls.

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