Friday, December 28, 2007

What is Fresh & Easy Buzz?

Welcome to Fresh & Easy Buzz: The Blog
About Fresh & Easy Buzz:

Fresh & Easy Buzz is a publication dedicated to reporting on, writing about and analyzing all that is Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets.

British-based, international retailer Tesco plc. launched its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets stores in the Western U.S. in November, 2007. To date, their are about 30 stores open in Southern California, Arizona and the Las Vegas, Nevada metropolitan region. Plans call for 200 Fresh & Easy stores by the end of 2008. Beginning in 2008, Tesco also will be branching out to Northern California with Fresh & Easy stores. The retailer also is looking at putting stores in New York, Florida and Chicago.

In addition to offering news stories and other pieces written by the international business press and grocery industry trade publications on the blog, we will be reporting and writing original news, features and analysis on Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets. The blog is all Fresh & Easy, all the time.

We'll cover all the BUZZ about Fresh & Easy, from hard news to gossip. We invite Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market employees, customers and others interested to email us at: with any information, news, ideas or thoughts you have on and about Fresh & Easy.

We especially want employees to write us about your experiences working for the grocer and at the stores. You need not give us your name. And we will protect your confidentiality 100 percent. We also encourage shoppers to write us about their experiences and offer their opinions about the stores. If you ask, we also will not publish your name. It's up to you. Use our "comments" feature as well to comment on any story you read, or to just offer your opinions regarding anything Fresh & Easy.

What's a Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market:

Fresh & Easy stores are small format (average 10,000 to 13,000 square feet) grocery markets, designed to provide convenient service to shoppers. Think of the stores as sort of a cross between a small, neighborhood food store with low prices for basic grocery items, and a Trader Joe's.

Fresh & Easy stores sell a selection of private label and national branded basic grocery products. The stores that have thus far opened are offering these basic grocery items at retail prices far below convenience stores, and even lower than most supermarkets. The prices at present are comparable to discount or warehouse style grocery stores.

Fresh & Easy grocery markets also offer an extensive selection of ready-to-eat, ready-to-heat and grab-and-go fresh, prepared foods. These prepared foods range from bagged salad greens, to sandwiches, basic dinner entrees and side dishes like mac n' cheese, chicken salad, mashed potatoes and many other items, to more upscale prepared foods offerings like higher- end meat, seafood, meatless and ethnic foods entrees, side dishes and even complete dinners.

Fresh & Easy stores also sell a selection of natural and specialty groceries and some non-foods items. The stores have fresh produce departments which offer fresh fruits and vegetables. (Like Trader Joe's the fresh produce comes in containers or bags.) Fresh & Easy markets also offer wines and craft beers like Trader Joe's does. The small format grocery markets also sell fresh meats and poultry in self-service cases.

The format is a hybrid of Tesco's Express grocery markets in the United Kingdom (U.K), which are part convenience store and part upscale food store. The Fresh & Easy format stores offer a larger selection of prepared foods than do the Tesco Express stores in the U.K. Other than that, and a couple of other differences, the formats are very similar. Tesco's Express format has been very successful in the U.K and in other parts of Europe where the stores are located.

Why Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets are Important:

Tesco plans to spend billions of dollars on its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets venture in the USA. No foreign food retailer has ever launched such a massive retail venture in the U.S. Some sources say Tesco's plans are to have 500 Fresh & Easy stores in the USA in five years, with estimated sales of $6 billion.

The Fresh & Easy format also is totally experimental in terms of large-scale, national food retailing in the U.S. Its a combination basic, low price-focused, limited assortment grocery store on the one hand, and a semi-upscale, fresh and prepared foods store on the other. Additionally, the stores' are attempting to be what they are in a retail selling space of about 10,000 square feet.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy is by no means the first small format food store in the U.S.--nor is it currently the only one. Small format mom and pop grocery stores, neighborhood supermarkets, convenience stores and small-size, independent natural foods stores have existed in the USA for decades, even centuries in the case of the mom and pop food stores.

Further, large supermarket retailers like ALDI, which owns Trader Joe's and also has almost 900 ALDI small format discount stores in the U.S. have been around for years. However, Fresh & Easy's combination of a low-priced basic grocery store, and fresh, prepared foods retailer (it's hybrid format nature), it's small store size, and its scope in terms of the number of stores Tesco is building in such a short period of time, all make it revolutionary in U.S. food retailing history.

Welcome to Fresh & Easy Buzz: Join Us:
We plan on covering all the BUZZ on Fresh & Easy: hard news, original reporting, what others in the press are saying, gossip--and more.
We also want to be an interactive blog. We welcome comments from the blog's readers. We also ask for your input. Fresh & Easy employees, customers, supermarket industry employees and experts; we ask you to email us with any Fresh & Easy news, comments, opinions, tips and the like. It's only by harnessing the million-fold power of the web that we can bring our readers the BEST OF THE BUZZ about Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets.

Our email address is:

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