Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA is currently searching for and recruiting store-level "team leaders," similar to an assistant store manager, for a number of its Southern California grocery stores already open.

In this May 13, 2008 advertisement on the online job-posting site, Fresh & Easy says it's looking for store team leaders for its existing stores in Los Angeles (Eagle Rock Neighborhood), Hollywood, Compton and Manhattan Beach.

The ad also says the retailer is looking for store-level team leaders for other stores in the region beyond these five Southern California Fresh & Easy stores.

The store team leader positions are listed on the recruitment ad as being both full-time and part-time, which seems to indicate working either full-time or part-time is an option for a potential candidate for the job.

The advertisement also lists the starting pay for a store team leader (essentially an assistant manager reporting to the Fresh & Easy store manager) at $13.00 an hour.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy stores employ about 20 workers per-store, according to Tesco. All but one or two (the store manager and sometimes team leader) are employed as part-timers.

The starting wage for store-level employees--besides the store manager and team leader--is $10 an hour. Part-timers receive a health insurance package if they work 20 or more hours per-week. The health insurance package requires employee contributions and co-pays. Those store employees who work less than 20 hours a week receive no health insurance coverage.

All four of the stores listed in the recruitment advertisement--Eagle Rock/LA, Compton, Hollywood and Manhattan Beach--have now been open for sometime

Fresh & Easy stresses in the ad it takes a team approach to running its stores. This is very similar to the approach Whole Foods Market, Inc. uses in its stores. In fact, Whole Foods has used the terms team members and store team leaders since the first store was opened in Austin, Texas a few decades ago.

Numerous other retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target and Trader Joe's for example, use team members and team leaders as titles--along with the team concept--in their stores.

Below is the description from the May 13 recruitment ad of what a team leader does at a Fresh & Easy grocery market:

What you will be doing
In this key position, you will work with your Store Manager to create a great team environment and help deliver a well-run, neighborly shopping experience for our valued customers. You will focus on promoting team unity and performance, providing excellent training and filling in for your Manager when absent.

As a team motivator, you will develop clear lines of communication, encourage feedback from team members, praise excellent performance as well as provide constructive criticism, and pitch in at other locations as the need arises.

You'll also keep the team informed as to how everything is going, ensure performance goals are met, and make your Manager aware of any issues that affect store operations. In addition, you will interact with customers to make certain they enjoy the fresh&easy experience, and you will work to make your store a good neighbor in the community.

Tesco currently has 61 of its small-format, convenience oriented Fresh & Easy grocery stores open and operating in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

About half of those 61 stores are located in Southern California, as is the retailer's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market corporate office and distribution center. Both are located in Riverside County.

Fresh & Easy stores are a small-format, hybrid grocery market which offer a limited assortment of basic food and grocery products with an emphasis on low everyday low prices, as well as a wide-variety of fresh, prepared foods under the fresh & easy store brand.

The small-format stores average 10,000 -to- 13,000 square feet in size.

About 65% of the store's food and grocery items, including organic and specialty foods items, are under the fresh & easy store brand. The remaining about 35% are national and regional brands.

The Fresh & Easy stores also offer limited assortments (compared to standard-sized supermarkets) of fresh produce and meats.

The grocery markets also offer a fairly strong selection of wines and craft beers, similar to Trader Joe's. A number of the wines are what Tesco's Fresh & Easy calls "specialty blends," meaning the wine varieties have been procured and created exclusively for Fresh & Easy, which also is something Trader Joe's has done for years.

Tesco is taking a break from opening new stores until July, 2008. The new store opening pause began in April.

Beginning in July, the retailer will again start opening new stores at a rapid pace. If you read through Fresh & Easy Buzz, you will see numerous pieces about new stores in the pipeline. These stores are the ones which will start opening in and after July 1, 2008.

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