Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fresh & Easy Gets Local; Creates Free 'Indie' Music Concert Series at its Hollywood, CA Store For September

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market in partnership with Southern California radio station indie 103.1 is launching a free acoustic music series starting this Thursday at its Hollywood, California grocery store.

The free musical events, which will be held each Thursday evening at 7pm in the outdoor courtyard of the Fresh & Easy store at 7021 Hollywood Blvd., are being called the Blank Canvas Series at Fresh & Easy.

The performers, all from the indie music scene, include: Nico Stai (September 4); Anya Marina (September 11); Meiko (September 18); and Greg Laswell (September 25). You can learn more about the performers here.

As an interesting addition to the music, during the Thursday evening concerts artists will be on hand at the Hollywood Fresh & Easy store custom-painting reusable canvas shopping tote bags. Customers who spend $50 or more at the store will receive a free hand-painted tote bag.

Fresh & Easy Buzz likes the concept and promotion. First, the tie-in with the indie radio station and the Hollywood store located on Hollywood Blvd. is a good one, since the demographics of the neighborhood's residents fit well with the demographics of indie music listeners.

Additionally, who doesn't like free? The free music series offering is a good way to draw attention to the store by providing customers and potential customers with free entertainment. There's no hard sell such as having to make a purchase to listen to the music and the like. Soft sells always work best. It's all value-added.

The free music series also is a good positioning tool for the Hollywood store. Indy music is hip and Fresh & Easy wants to be perceived as somewhat hip. Therefore it's a good marriage of music and store format we think. Grocery stores should be social places as well as ones of commerce. Music is a great social lubricant.

Lastly, the store-specific music series is good local marketing. It matches the store's neighborhood, Hollywood Blvd., with something many residents and visitors to the neighborhood enjoy--indie music.

Since we've been critical of Tesco's Fresh & Easy for not putting a local design, marketing and merchandising focus on its stores, we want to give the grocery chain props for doing so in its tie-in with the indie radio station for the September music series at the Hollywood Blvd. store in Hollywood, California. It's a good fit in our analysis.

Grocery stores and supermarkets are different than most other retail formats in that they sell the most essential of all commodities--food. As such they've historically have served as focal points for people in communities and neighborhoods.

The more of a sense of place a food retailer can create in its stores in terms of physical design, community and ambiance, the more successful generally that grocer is. That's one reason independent grocers continue to survive and thrive in the U.S. while they've nearly gone the way of the horse and buggy in many other western industrialized nations.

Events like the music series at the Hollywood Fresh & Easy, along with incorporating some local design elements and local merchandising features, help create this neighborhood sense of place. Consumers tend to reward such food retailing by spending their money at the stores of grocers who factor in this important consideration, along with the basics like product selection, pricing and service.


OakMonster said...

I like this idea too! And you're right, if this was to take place in any other branch, say, my Long Beach Spring Street one, it wouldn't fly. But Hollywood, I am sure it'll be a success.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Meiko is playing??? AWESOME! She's really been blowing up lately - Playing on The Bonnie Hunt Show, Conan O'Brien, all over iTunes ...Can't wait to see her!! If you haven't been hipped to this girl yet, check out her MySpace page -- http://www.myspace.com/meiko

Great music!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if I can use the three $5 coupons good for any buy of $20 or more I just got in a flyer from Fresh & Easy to buy the $50 worth of groceries so I can get the free painted canvas bag?

Mel said...

Yay for Meiko!!! How cool she is playing a free show, I am so there. haha. If anyone is interested she did this awesome duet wit AM, track titled "New Road". it's on myspace.com/amsounds. Check it out :D

Anonymous said...

Question. Tesco stores in the UK stock great beer, lots of bottle conditioned real ales. Do you have good craft beer in your stores in California? - William Brand