Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market ended the last two days (Thurs. and Fri.) of this week by opening three new grocery stores (a Trifecta) in the Las Vegas, Nevada metropolitan region. February has been a new store-opening horse race-style sprint for the retailer. It's opened an average of one new grocery store every other day so far this month.
Two of the three new Fresh & Easy stores opened yesterday and today are in Henderson, Nevada, which is just a few miles outside of Las Vegas, and is part of the Vegas metro area. The third grocery market opened in North Las Vegas. This brings to 53 the total number of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market grocery stores opened in Southern California, Arizona and the Las Vegas, Nevada metropolitan region to date.
The first Fresh & Easy store officially opened the first week in November, 2007, in the Southern California Inland Empire desert region city of Hemet. (The store actually opened via a "soft opening" about two weeks earlier in late October.)
In a little over 14 weeks (roughly 100 days), Tesco has opened 53 Fresh & Easy grocery markets. That's an impressive overall new store opening pace of about one new store every other day. We call that a "new store rollout on steroids."
Tesco doesn't plan on slowing that pace down much either. The British retailer hopes to have between 150 and 200 Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market grocery stores in the three states by the end of this year.
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, which is headquartered in Riverside, (Southern) California, is the U.S. division of British retailer Tesco plc. Tesco is the United Kingdom's number one retailer, and the third-biggest retailer in the world.
The Fresh & Easy grocery stores are small-format (10,000 -to- 13,000 square feet) neighborhood-style grocery markets. The store's are a hybrid basic grocery store, selling a limited assortment of Fresh & Easy store brand and nationally branded grocery products, along with an extensive selection of ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat fresh, prepared foods items.
The prepared foods offerings range from ready-made sandwiches, pasta, tuna and chicken salads, to prepared entrees and side dishes like meat loaf, beef tips in wine sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and numerous other prepared foods' entrees and side dishes, including many different ethnic cuisine items.
Fresh & Easy stores also have fresh meat and fresh produce departments. The fresh meats are packaged and merchandised in a self-service manner. The fresh produce is packaged in containers or bags similar to how the items are sold in Trader Joe's stores.
The convenience-oriented grocery markets also sell a selection of specialty, gourmet, ethnic, natural and organic grocery products, alongside the more basic, everyday groceries. Additionally, the stores' sell fresh flowers and plants, fresh baked goods, and have a selection of imported and domestic wines, spirits (in most stores) and craft beers.
Tesco's target market for its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market small-format, convenience-style grocery stores are the western U.S. states of California, Arizona and Nevada. Currently, the grocer has stores throughout Southern California, in the Phoenix, metropolitan and suburban areas' of Arizona, and in the Las Vegas, Nevada metropolitan region.
The company will start opening the first of an initial 18 stores in the San Francisco Bay Area region of Northern California either beginning at the end of this year or in early 2009. Tesco has signed leases in the Bay Area for those initial 18 stores already. However, the retailer is currently negotiating (and signing some new leases) with commercial building and property landlords in the region for additional store sights.
Additionally, Tesco has signed leases for at least three stores in the Sacramento, California metropolitan region as part of its late 2008-2009 push into Northern California. More stores will come in the Sacramento area on top of those three we currently know about. The retailer hasn't officially confirmed any stores for Sacramento to date.
Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market also plans to build a distribution center in Stockton, California to serve its Northern California grocery stores. Stockton is about 30 miles from Sacramento and about 60 miles from San Francisco. It's a good central location to serve stores located in the Bay Area, as well as in other parts of Northern California and the Central Valley. Tesco hasn't officially confirmed the Stockton distribution center location either.