Despite the fact February is the shortest month this year, with only 29 days, Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is opening a new store about every other day, in a frenetic February, 2008 new-store opening blitz in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.
In a January 27 post in the Fresh & Easy corporate blog, company marketing chief Simon Uwins said the grocer will open 16 stores in the four weeks from January 28 -to- February 29. That's on average an opening of about one new store every two days, if the retailer is able to get all 16 new grocery markets opened by the end of this month as planned.
Nearly all of these 16 stores are being opened in Southern California, Fresh & Easy's number- one target market region, and Arizona, the grocer's number two region of focus.
Tesco will open store number 50 tomorrow morning at 10:am in the Southern California desert region city of Palm Desert. The store is located at 72885 Hwy. 111. Palm Desert is in Southern California's Inland Empire region, an area where Tesco plans to open as many as 48 stores before the end of this year.
The British grocer will open two more of its 10,000 -to- 13,000 square foot grocery stores in the nearby city's of Riverside and Upland one week from tomorrow, on February 27. The Riverside store will be the first Fresh & Easy grocery market in that city. The Upland store will be the grocer's second in that community. The Riverside store is at 8765 Trautwein Road. The new Upland grocery market is at 829 West Foothill Blvd.
The Riverside location is an interesting--and will be a competitive--one. SuperValu, Inc.-owned Albertsons is opening a remodeled supermarket tomorrow right across the street from where the Riverside Fresh & Easy, opening next week, is located.
The Albertsons' store has been remodeled under SuperValu's "Premium Fresh & Healthy Format." That format is an upscale one, featuring lots of fresh, prepared foods, expanded fresh produce departments which feature lots of organic produce, large combined self-service and old fashion butcher- block type meat departments, as well as more natural, organic and fresh foods offerings across all departments.
Riverside, and the Inland Empire region also is home to Stater Bros. markets, a local supermarket chain which is the market share leader in the region. Stater Bros. is an Inland Empire institution. In addition to being the region's number one grocery retailer, it's also the area's number one corporate citizen, giving millions of dollars a year in donations to local educational institutions, community groups, charities and other not for profit organizations.
Stater Bros. has fought-off any and all attempts by other supermarket chains to challenge its market share dominance in its home region. Tesco's Fresh & Easy can expect the supermarket chain to do everything in its power to make sure it doesn't lose any significant grocery dollar share to the British-based retailer.