Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Big 'Hollywood Style' Premere Today for New Hollywood Fresh & Easy Store

There were Marilyn Monroe and Paris Hilton look-a-likes strutting their stuff on a red carpet today on Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood, California. There were men dressed in black tales and white tie, and numerous women looking elegant in designer dresses and high heels. A band played music, people danced, others sipped champagne.
No, it wasn't an early start to the famous Hollywood Academy of Awards celebration. Rather, it was a Hollywood style grand-opening for the newest Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market store. The new market is located at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Sycamore, Hollywood's famous "Street of Dreams."

In typical Hollywood style, Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason officially opened the grocery market by placing his hands in wet cement in front of the store, and cutting a ribbon made of movie filmstrip, the Hollywood version of a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Once completed, the store's doors were open for the numerous shoppers and just curious to go inside and see what Fresh & Easy is all about. Hollywood-style of course.

The newest Fresh & Easy, the grocer's 33rd store to open to date in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, is located right across the street from the famous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Just steps away from the store's entrance are the famous "Hollywood Stars," those iconic sidewalk stars with the names of thousands of celebrity's emblazoned on them. Nearby, on what has been called "The Street of Dreams" is Mann's Chinese Theatre, a historic Hollywood landmark. And, also nearby is the newer Kodak Theatre,where the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and other showbiz events are regularly held.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is now part of this "Street of Dreams," where famous and infamous actors and others once waited tables at its restaurants, or tended bar or served cocktails at night while auditioning for movie roles during the day. Hollywood Blvd. also has seen its share of shattered dreams. It's streets are still filled with runaway teenagers, former hippies, drug users and prostitutes who've lost their American dream; at least for now.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy grocery market however is part of a new urbanism that's happening on Hollywood Blvd. Over the past five years or so the "Street of Dreams" has become more residential, with new condos and apartments being build in the neighborhood. Lots of retail stores have been added, making it a popular shopping venue for those who live nearby and not so nearby.

The neighborhood also has become a prime night spot. Just like those who were at the Fresh & Easy store grand opening today saw a Paris Hilton look-a-like, if you are out-and-about on Hollywood Blvd. on any given evening, you're likely to see the real Paris, along with a host of other celebrities, eating sushi, Italian food or other cuisine at one of the neighborhood's many new, upscale eateries. There's also new bars, cafes and nightclubs, all filled nearly every night.

The neighborhood should be a good one for the Fresh & Easy market. There aren't many food stores nearby, so the store should sell lots of basic grocery items. Additionally, the growing residential population in the neighborhood is young and primarily professional, which is a good target market for Fresh & Easy's prepared foods offerings.

In many ways, locating a store on Hollywood Blvd.--the "Street of Dreams"--is symbolic for Tesco's Fresh & Easy venture. Like the millions of people from all over the world who have come to Hollywood to become a success in show business, the British Tesco is hoping to achieve it's American dream with it's Fresh & Easy convenience-oriented grocery stores in the western U.S. And like Frank Sinatra crooned in his famous song..."(On) The Street of Dreams," Hollywood Blvd. is as good a place as any to try to achieve that success.

As part of its grand-opening celebration today, Fresh & Easy made a cash donation to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. The hospital was chosen by the store's employees to receive the donation. Fresh & Easy makes a cash donation to a local non-profit group or other organization each time it opens a new store.

"Opening in such an iconic neighborhood is exciting," said CEO Mason in summing up the day. "Everybody wants fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices and we think Fresh & Easy will be a great addition to the neighborhood."

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