USA Today business writer Bruce Horovitz--who rumor has it reads Fresh & Easy Buzz on occasion--has a brief piece in the just hot off the press (well, cyberpress) edition of America's national newspaper, which talks about three of our favorite (and very often written about) retail themes in relation to retail grocery stores: neighborhood, community, "localism" and sense of place.
As F&E Buzz readers know, we discuss all these related concepts often in terms of what our analysis tells us Tesco's Fresh & Easy small-format, convenience-oriented, combination basic grocery and fresh/specialty foods grocery markets lack. We also offer numerous suggestions on how Tesco can better create that sense of place, community and neighborhood in its Fresh & Easy stores.
In fact, one of our favorite (and yes, most used) sayings is that Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market needs to put the "neighborhood" in its Neighborhood Markets by creating a better sense of place in its stores.
On of the key variables we argue the retailer needs to foucus on in order to achieve this needed result (more sense of place and "neighborhood" in the grocery stores) is "localism," which we define as the need for Tesco's Fresh & Easy to achieve a greater understanding of the history, culture, behavior (of residents) and demographics of the people who live in the neighborhoods where the stores are located--and then to customize certain design elements and features of the grocery markets to these respective neighborhoods--along with greatly increasing the "local" food and grocery product mix in the stores, as well as customizing (neighborhood merchandising) the product mix (on top of the stores basic mix) to each neighborhood.
What we suggest is far from a foreign concept or strategy in U.S. food and grocery retailing.
Give Mr. Horvitz's USA today piece--"It's A Beautiful (Shopping) Day in the Neighborhood," a read here.
By the way, We think Mr. Neighborhood himself, Fred Rogers, would agree with our arguments on "neighborhood," "community," "localism" and "sense of place" as they relate to grocery retailing. We think he also would like Mr. Horovitz's title, and "neighborhood-oriented" retailing piece.