Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fresno, California Fresh & Easy Grocery Store to Be First in Chain to Include Local, Community and Neighborhood Design Elements and Features

The Fresno, California City Council last night approved plans for an approximately 15,000 square foot Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market at 2820 Tulare Street in the Central Valley city in California.

The 2820 Tulare Street location is the site of Fresno's historic old Hofbrau restaurant, pictured at top, which once was a city landmark famous for its generous portions of roasted beef, turkey, ham, pastrami and other meats and side dishes, along with its numerous varieties of cold draft beers, before it was closed down.

Fresh & Easy Buzz has learned the Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market at the old Hofbrau location in Fresno will be the first store in which the grocery chain plans to incorporate local, community and neighborhood elements into the design theme of, which is something we've been suggesting since January Tesco do with its Fresh & Easy stores.

Plans for the Fresh & Easy grocery market going into the old Hafbrau include the store having a clock tower as part of the design, a masonary facade and murals which reflect the historic and cultural nature of Fresno and the 2820 Tulare Street neighborhood.

Including local (community and neighborhood) design features, including using murals with a local flair, is something Fresh & Easy Buzz has suggested in numerous blog pieces Tesco do with its Fresh & Easy stores in order to localize them, better fit into the communities and neighborhoods where it has its stores, and create a better "sense of place" to enhance the shopping experience in the stores for customers.

A member of the Fresno planning department told Fresh & Easy Buzz Tesco wants the store to fit into the historic elements of the neighborhood, as well as play up on the old Hafbrau's historic home there.

We've argued for a number of months that it's important--and will lead to greater success for the grocery chain--for Tesco to localize some of the design elements of its stores so as to respect and reflect the history and culture of the communities and neighborhoods it locates its small-format, combination grocery and fresh foods markets in because doing so will make the retailer not only a more accepted member of the neighborhood, but will pay dividends in the form of increased sales and customer loyalty in return.

As we were the first publication to report on March 17 (with a detailed follow up piece in May), Tesco plans to open at least an initial five Fresh & Easy grocery stores in the Fresno Metropolitan region, and likely will open additional stores in the region down the road. The first Fresbo market region stores should start opening in early 2009.

We haven't heard anything from our Fresno sources, both within the city government and in the commercial real estate and business community in the city, about any of the other four planned Fresno region Fresh & Easy stores having localized design enhancements like plans call for the 2820 Tulare Street store going into the old Hofbrau to have. We are continuing to investigate that aspect however.

Meanwhile, based on the overview we received from a source who was at last night's Fresno City Council meeting, it appears the plans for the old Hofbrau building Fresh & Easy grocery store are singularly unique compared to the 63 small-format grocery stores the grocery chain has opened thus far in that the retailer is taking some local community and neighborhood elements and aspects into consideration in the design of the store, rather than it being a cookie cutter-designed grocery market like the current stores, the majority of which have gone into remodeled existing buildings, are.

Like we've been suggesting since December, 2007--localization of some elements of a grocery store's design, along with some aspects of its product mix, is key in today's food retailing and local consumer-conscious society. Or, as the late, longtime former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas "Tip" O'Neill used to say when asked to explain his fabulous success in politics..."Everything is local."

A Selection of Past Fresh & Easy Buzz Posts about Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and the localization of store design:

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Please open your stores already because we need low prices for organic products!