Fresh & Easy Going Smaller to Crack U.S. Market
In years past, former Walmart CEO Lee Scott lamented that Asda’s business in the U.K. was being outdone by Tesco in large part because of that company’s Express convenience store format.
It’s not news that Tesco has struggled with its Fresh & Easy business in the U.S., although the company has maintained that it has made a number of changes to address the situation. The latest move appears to be the company importing the Express concept from overseas to see if it will work here, as well.
According to the Fresh & Easy Buzz blog, Tesco is planning to open its first Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Express this year in San Pedro, CA. The store will be somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 square feet, compared to 10,000 for the typical Fresh & Easy, and will include an edited assortment of items found in the larger locations.
Another report by The Wall Street Journal puts store size of the Express units at 3,000 square feet. The advantage of the smaller format is that it gives Fresh & Easy more options for store openings in high density areas and the units can be operated at a lower cost.
The planned Express store is seen as part of Tesco’s planned push into the Los Angeles area.
According to Fresh & Easy Buzz, CEO Tim Mason told a meeting of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association of the San Fernando Valley last December, "We’ve identified 70 opportunities [new store locations] in Los Angeles. .. We’re eager to invest and we want to get on."
The report did not put a number to how many of the 70 potential stores could be Express locations. Fresh & Easy currently operates 176 stores in Arizona, California and Nevada.
- First 4,000 Sq. Ft. Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market ‘Express’ Store Set to Open in Los Angeles’ San Pedro Community This Year – Fresh & Easy Buzz/Blogspot
- Tesco’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Looking For Locations For New, Smaller-Format 4,000-to-5,000 Square-Foot Stores – Fresh & Easy Buzz/Blogspot
- Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market CEO Tim Mason Says 70 New Stores Possible in Los Angeles Area – Fresh & Easy Buzz/Blogspot
- Tesco to Test Smaller Stores In the U.S. – The Wall Street Journal
Discussion Questions: Will the addition of Express stores be a positive for Fresh & Easy’s operating results? Is the chain making strides addressing the issues that it has faced since opening in the U.S.?