Monday, April 13, 2009

Despite Postponing its Northern California Launch Again Earlier This Year Tesco's Fresh & Easy Planning Third San Francisco Store; First Stockton Unit

Upcoming New Markets Special Report: Northern California

Despite postponing its Northern California launch once again earlier this year, and having not yet opened any of the numerous Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market store sites it's paying monthly lease payments on in Northern California, Tesco is planning a third store in San Francisco, California, Fresh & Easy Buzz has learned.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy has also signed a lease for what will be its first small-format grocery and fresh foods market in the Northern San Joaquin Valley city of Stockton, in Northern California. Stockton is located about 75 miles from San Francisco and about 30 miles from Modesto, where we've previously reported the grocery chain now has three Fresh & Easy stores planned.

San Francisco

The planned third San Francisco Fresh & Easy market will be located at 32nd and Clement Street in the City's Richmond District.

The two other planned Fresh & Easy store locations in San Francisco are at 5800 Third Street and Carrol Avenue in the low-income Bayview-Hunters Point Neighborhood, and at Silver Avenue and Goettingen Street, which is a mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhood in the city off of the 101 freeway.

The 5800 Third Street Fresh & Easy store is a new, built from the ground up store which will be the ground floor retail anchor to what is a multi-unit residential condominium building currently being constructed at the location.

The Silver Avenue Fresh & Easy market is planned to go into what is a now vacant building that previously housed a Cala Foods supermarket. Like many of its current 118 stores in California (Southern and Bakersfield), southern Nevada and Metro Phoeniz, Arizona, the Silver Avenue vacant, former supermarket building will be gutted and remodeled by Tesco and turned ino one of its small-format combination grocery and fresh foods markets.

Cala is (or more precisely was) owned by Kroger Co. Kroger Co., through its Ralphs supermarkets division based in Southern California, exited the Northern California market a few years ago, selling off or closing its about 50 Ralphs' banner supermarkets and about 25 Cala and Bell Market banner stores in the region.

All of the Cala and Bell banner stores were in the Bay Area, most in San Francisco or nearby cities. The Ralphs' stores were in the Bay Area and parts of the Central Valley and Sacramento region.

Kroger's Southern California-based Ralphs still operates a couple Cala-Bell stores in the Bay Area, which it is in the process of either selling or closing.

It also operates a couple of its FoodsCo banner discount warehouse stores in the region, including one in San Francisco's Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, not far from where Tesco is putting its Third Street Fresh & Easy market in the condominium development. Kroger-Ralphs has no plans to close the FoodsCo warehouse format stores in the region.

San Francisco's Richmond District is a part of the city, along with the next door Sunset District, that collectively also are referred to as "The Avenues," because its numbered streets -- all avenues -- start in the low numbers and run all the way to the high-forties as the streets get closer to the ocean. The Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods end at San Francisco's Ocean Beach, which is the end of land in the city's western portion.

The Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods, both the flatest residential parts of the city, run alongside San Francisco's famed Golden Gate Park -- the park is in the middle, dividing the two neigborhoods, which are two of the largest residential neighborhoods in the city in terms of the numbers of housing units and resident population. San Francisco's population is about 850,000.

There currently are a couple Safeway supermarkets in the Richmond district, along with a couple independent supermarkets. Safeway has a large store right near Ocean Beach that serves residents of both the Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods because of its central location. The store does are very high weekly sales volume.

Safeway Stores, Inc., which is the market share leader in the Bay Area and in the city of San Francisco, is based in Pleasanton, in the eastern part of the region, about 30 miles from San Francisco.

The 32nd and Clement proposed future Fresh & Easy store site once was home to a supermarket. However that store has since closed.

Tesco is only beginning the permitting and approval process for the 32nd and Clement store. And in San Francisco that can be a detailed and long process in terms of gaining approval.

For example, on Wednesday evening, April 15, Mark Warden, a vice president for the Costa Mesa-based Bergman Companies' design and building firm, will be making a presentation to the members of the Planning Association for the Richmond, which is an influencial group comprised of neighborhood residents, Fresh & Easy Buzz has learned. The group's mission is to guide planning and development in its neighborhood.

The presentation is from 7 -to- 9 p.m. at the Richmond Recreation Center, 251 18th Avenue, San Francisco. The Bergman Companies' Warden, representing Tesco's Fresh & Easy, will detail the grocer's plans for the site, including the store's design and other details, according to a member of the neighborhood group, and a notice on the planning association's Web site.

In San Francisco gaining the approval of neighborhood associations -- there's one in nearly every neighborhood in what is a city comprised of many distinct neigborhoods --is crucial to gaining approval from the city to build a commercial project like a retail store.

Most neighborhood groups in San Francisco tend to favor local retail stores over chains, although that doesn't mean chain stores don't get approval in the city. It often depends on the neighborhood. A couple neighborhoods though actually no longer allow chain retail stores of any kind.

San Francisco neighborhood associations like the Richmond District group look not only at a retailer's proposed design for a store when evaluating a proposal -- it's size, physical design, energy use -- they also look at the retail company proposing the store -- it's ethical reputation, environmental policies, whether its union or non-union, for example -- in evaluating if they will support the development or not.

Neighborhood associations in San Francisco don't legally make the decisions as to whether or not retailers get the green light on new retail store proposals in the city -- city government does. But the groups are so influential that seldom does a project a neighborhood association is against get build in San Francisco. On the plus side, it's very seldom if ever the city refuses to approve a retail project supported by a neighborhood association.

This is a key reason that Tesco's Fresh & Easy is having its representative make a presentation to the Richmond District neighborhood planning group.

Other new Northern California developments


Fresh & Easy Buzz reported in this March 31, 2009 piece [Despite Having Postponed its Northern California Launch Indefinitely; Tesco's Fresh & Easy Planning Third Store in Modesto, California] that Tesco is building its newest and what it plans to be its third Fresh & Easy Neighborhood market store in the Northern California city of Modesto.

Modesto, which has a population of about 205,000 residents, is located about 90 miles from San Francisco in the Northern San JoaquinValley. Modesto is about a 45 minute drive from the nearest Bay Area city, Livermore, which is located in the Easy Bay region.

Fresh & Easy Buzz has now learned from a commercial real estate source that Tesco is looking closely at a handful of potential sites in Modesto for a possible future fourth Fresh & Easy store location in the city. None of the Fresh & Easy stores have yet to open in Modesto, or anywhere in Northern California.

Tesco hasn't confirmed the three Fresh & Easy planned store sites in Modesto that we've reported on. However we've documented each location through various means, including physical observation of the site, through commercial real estate sources, and via the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Department, in the case of the two stores -- Sylvan Square and Oakdale Road --that Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has already applied for on sale beer and wine licenses for.

We agreed at the request of our source not to mention the potential sites Tesco's Fresh & Easy is looking at in Modesto for a possible fourth store at this point in time.


Tesco's Fresh & Easy is also planning to build a store in Stockton, California, which like Modesto is located in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Stockton is about 30 miles from Modesto, about 75 miles from San Francisco, and about a 30 -to- 40 minute drive from Livermore. This is the first future Fresh & Easy store site in Stockton we've been able to document.

The planned first Stockton Fresh & Easy market will be located in a redevelopment project in Stockton's Midtown area on what is the location of a former State of California mental hospital which was closed some years ago.

The 103 acre redevelopment site is now owned by the California State University System. Commercial real estate developer Grupe Co. is redeveloping the site, which is called University Place.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has signed a 25-year lease for an about 14,000 square foot parcel in the redevelopment project where it will build a fresh & Easy store from the ground up, according to our sources. Grupe Co. verifies the lease.

Plans call for a mixed-use residential and commercial development, including condominiums and apartments, along with office buildings and retail stores, at the 103 acre site. The development also is the future home for a new satellite campus of the California State University System, hence its name -- University Place.

The closest state university campus is about 35 miles away, in Sacramento. California State University, Stanislaus, which is located about 45 miles from Stockton, in Turlock near Modesto in Stanislaus County, operates a small satellite campus in Stockton. Sacramento State University also offers some classes in Stockton. But the city wants its own comprehensive satellite campus.

Colliers International, which has an office in Stockton, is marketing the University Park redevlopment project in partnership with developer Grupe Co.

We said well over a year ago, when we first reported on Tesco Fresh & Easy's plans to open stores in Northern California, that the grocer would be locating stores in Stockton.

Our research shows that whenever Tesco's Fresh & Easy leases a site for an initial store in a city like Stockton, more units will follow. As a result, look for addialtion Fresh & Easy store locations to come in the city. In fact, we are aware that Tesco is currently shopping for sites for additional Stockton stores.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's store location strategy is one we've termed a "critical mass" store location strategy, meaning it likes to open and operate numerous stores, located not far from one another in a city, especially in larger cities like Stockton, which has a population of about 320,000. The Modesto example is a good one. It started with one planned store site and is now up to three planned locations.

In terms of the "critical mass" store location strategy, think about what Walgreens does with its drug stores and what Starbucks does with its cafes, opening numerous stores not far from each other in various neighborhoods in a city, hoping that the stores will become defacto neighborhood retail outlets by virtue of their mass availability throughout a given city's various neighborhoods. Critical retail mass.

This (the "critical mass" store location strategy) is what Tesco's Fresh & Easy has been and is doing in its current markets in California (Southern and Bakersfield), Metropolitan Las Vegas, Nevada and in the Phonix, Arizona Metro region. The strategic goal being to become the "neighborhood" grocery market of choice. There are 118 Fresh & Easy stores split between these market regions.

Stockton is where Tesco plans to build its Northern California distribution center. That distribution center is nowhere near completed however. In fact, Tesco has in our analysis intentionally postponed completing its Northern California distribution center as part of its decision to postpone its Fresh & Easy store launch into the region. Tesco has yet to confirm the distribution center will be located in the Stockton area.

As we first reported over a year ago, Tesco has and continues to look for potential Fresh & Easy store sites in cities throughout the Bay Area, the Sacramento-Vacaville region, and in Northern California's Northern San Joaquin Valley (and elsewhere in Northern California), near the cities of Stockton and Modesto. Those cities include Tracy, Manteca and Ripon, along with Turlock, Patterson and Merced, as well as others.

Tesco at present has eight Fresh & Easy locations planned for Fresno, which is about 45 miles south of Merced (which is 30 miles south of Modesto) in the central-near-southern Central Valley.

The grocery chain currently has three stores open and operating in Bakersfield, which is in the southern Central Valley, with plans to open six more in the coming months. Bakersfield is closer to Southern California geographically than it is to Fresno (Central California) and the Northern San Joaquin or Central Valley in Northern California. A good rule of thumb is that anything north of Merced, including Merced, is considered Northern California. Fresno -to- Bakersfield is generally considered Central California. Southern California begins once over the Grapevine, which seperates the southern valley from Los Angeles.

Fresh & Easy Northern California

Originally Tesco planned to have its first Northern California stores opened by mid-2008. Then it said the first stores in the region would open in late 2008. Early this year the grocery chain said it was postponing its Northern California launch indefinately, leaving open the date when it would open its first stores in the region.

Tesco has confirmed it plans to open and initial 37 stores in Northern California; 18 in the San Francisco Bay Area and 19 in the Sacrameno-Vacaville region of Northern California. It's now been over 15 months since it confirmed the 37 Northern California locations.

Fresh & Easy Buzz however has identified numerous additional Northern California planned locations in adition to the 37 announced and confirmed by Tesco's Fresh & Easy.

Below is a list of the 18 planned Fresh & Easy store locations in Northern California's San Francisco Bay Area that have been confirmed by Tesco. Tesco's Fresh & Easy officially announced the 18 locations in January, 2008. [Read our January 30, 2008 story here: [Fresh & Easy Goes On the Record: Announces 18 Northern California Stores in the Bay Area .] Fresh & Easy Buzz had already reported on a number of the planned Northern California locations prior to the public announcement/confirmation by Tesco

The 18 confirmed San Francisco Bay Area locations

>Antioch: Somersville & Buchanan roads; Lone Tree & Golf Course
>Concord: Clayton & Ygnacio Valley roads
>Danville: Diablo Road & Interstate 680]
>Fairfield: Beck Avenue & West Texas Street
>Hayward: Mission Boulevard & Rousseau Street; A Street & Hesperian Boulevard
>Mountain View: Middlefield Road & Rengstorff Avenue
>Napa: Jefferson Street & Imola Avenue
>Oakland: 73rd & Bancroft avenues
>Oakley: Laurel Road & Ohara Avenue
>San Francisco: Third Street & Carroll Avenue; Silver Avenue & Goettingen Street
>San Jose: Bird & Minnesota avenues; Almaden Road & Curtner Avenue
>Sunnyvale: Tasman Drive & Fair Oaks Avenue
>Vallejo: Oakwood Avenue & Springs Road
>Walnut Creek: Ygnacio Valley Road & San Carlos Drive.

Below is a list of the planned Northern California Fresh & Easy store locations identified and reported on by Fresh & Easy Buzz (with the exception of the Seaside and Oroville locations which were first reported on by local newspapers), but not confirmed to date by Tesco:

San Francisco Bay Area

>Vallejo (two sites). Two additional Fresh & Easy locations in Vallejo; in addition to the Oakwood Avenue unit in the city confirmed by Tesco as one of the 18 sites listed above. Read our report - May 21, 2008: Breaking News: Tesco Has Two New Fresh & Easy Stores in the Pipeline For San Francisco Bay Area; Brings Total to Date to 20 Units For the Region

>Pacifica: 5550 Coast Highway. Pacifica is located about 12 miles south of San Francisco. [Read our report - June 12, 2008: Upcoming New Markets News: Tesco to Locate Yet Another Fresh & Easy Store in San Francisco Bay Area; 21 Thus Far By Fresh & Easy Buzz's Reporting.]

[Related stories: October 7, 2008: Fresh & Easy Corporate Reps to Meet With Pedro Point Pacifica, CA Neighborhood Residents to Address Concerns Over Store to Open in 2009. October 9, 2008: Pacifica, CA Mayor Jim Vreeland Says He's Excited to Have Fresh & Easy Store Coming to Pedro Point; Says New Center Will Be One of the Best in Town. October 13, 2008: Pacifica Riptide & Fresh & Easy Buzz Join Together to Offer Pacifica, California Citizen Opinions On the Fresh & Easy Store Coming to the City.]

>Palo Alto: Edgewood Plaza Shopping Center. [Read our report - October 15, 2008: Tesco to Locate Fresh & Easy Store in Palo Alto, California; it's First in the City and SF Bay Area Store Number 22 By Our Reporting.] Note: We wrote this piece [ Upcoming New Markets Special Report: Upscale Palo Alto, California is Laying Out the Welcoming Mat to Grocers: Will Fresh & Easy Knock On the Door?] five months earlier, On June 12, 2008. Tesco's Fresh & Easy did come knocking at Palo Alto's door.

[Related story - March 19, 2009: Another Tesco Fresh & Easy Future Market City Bans the (Plastic) Bag: No Plastic Carrier Bags In Palo Alto, CA Supermarkets Starting September 18th.

Sacramento-Vacaville region

Click here to view a list and map of the 19 Tesco-confirmed Fresh & Easy stores in the Sacramento-Vacaville region in Northern California.

Sacramento-Vacaville region - not confirmed by Tesco

>Suisun City: Sunset Shopping Center. Sunset Avenue and State Highway 12. Suisun City is located between Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, not far from the city of Vacaville. [Read our report - September 11, 2008: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Adds Another Store to its Sacramento-Vacaville Market Region Portfolio in Northern California.]

Elsewhere Northern California - not confirmed by Tesco

>Seaside: West Broadway Village Shopping Center. Seaside is located in Monterey County, in Northern California's south-central coast region. Note: The Herald (Monterey County) newspaper first broke the story on the Seaside location. We followed-up and verified the site. [Read our report - July 27, 2008: Fresh Buzz: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Tesco PLC and Related Food Retailing News and Insight.]

>Modesto (3 stores thus far). (1) Sylvan Square Shopping Center; Coffee Road and Sylvan Avenue. (2) 1717 Oakdale Road. (3) Crows Landing Road near Whitmore Avenue.

[Read our reports: Sylvan Square - May 10, 2008: New Markets: Tesco's Fresh & Easy to Move Into Modesto, California Market; Open its First Store in the City Early Next Year. 1717 Oakdale Road - November 6, 2008: Upcoming New Markets News: Tesco Will Open A Second Fresh & Easy Store in Modesto, California. Crows landing Road - March 31, 2009: Despite Having Postponed its Northern California Launch Indefinitely; Tesco's Fresh & Easy Planning Third Store in Modesto, California.]

>Oroville, Butte County: Goldtown Plaza Shopping Center. The local newspaper, the Oroville Mercury Register, first reported on this location. Fresh & Easy Buzz verifield the lease and added some details in our report. [Our report - December 4, 2008: Despite Postponing its Northern California Launch, Fresh & Easy Continues to Grab New Locations in the Region, Including Going Rural.] Oroville is located in a rural region north of Sacramento.

Possible but not yet verified category
>Grass Valley, Nevada County. The local The Union newspaper reported in December, 2008 that Tesco's Fresh & Easy was negotiating with the owner of a closed Ford auto dealership in the city's Goldtwon Plaza to lease the dealership for a Fresh & Easy store. We verified the negotiations but haven't been able to verify the signing of any lease. [Our report - December 4, 2008: Grasss Valley - More on the Northern California Rural Strategy: An Existing Ford Auto Dealership in Grass Valley, CA Could Become A New Fresh & Easy Market.] As a result, we put this potential location in the "possible but not varified category" and don't count it yet as a "verified" Northern California Fresh & Easy planned store location.

Updated May 6, 2009:

Below are additional planned Northern California Fresh & Easy store locations we've uncovered and reported on since this piece was published. Tesco's Fresh & Easy has not yet confirmed these planned locations:

San Francisco Bay Area

>San Francisco, California. 32nd and Clement, Richmond District. This is the third planned Fresh & Easy store for San Francisco thus far, based on our reporting See our April 13, 2009 story here: Despite Postponing its Northern California Launch Again Earlier This Year Tesco's Fresh & Easy Planning Third San Francisco Store; First Stockton Unit.

>Hercules, California. New Town Center planned development. Hercules is in the Easy Bay Area, in Contra Costa County. See our April 17, 2009 story here: Another Planned New Location For Tesco's Fresh & Easy in San Francisco Bay Area: Market to Be Retail Anchor of New Development in Hercules, CA.

>Pleasanton, California. Rose Pavillion Shopping Center. Santa Rita Drive and Rosewood Drive. Pleasanton is in the East Bay Area. See our April 19, 2009 story here: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Signs Lease For New Store in Pleasanton, CA; We Reported 15 Months Ago the SF Bay Area City Was in its Strategic Sites.

Elsewhere Northern California - not confirmed by Tesco

>Stockton, California. University Place development, Stockton. This is the first planned Fresh & Easy store for Stockton. Stockton is in the Northern San Joaquin Valley; about 30 miles from Modesto and 35 miles from Sacramento. See our April 17, 2009 story here: Despite Postponing its Northern California Launch Again Earlier This Year Tesco's Fresh & Easy Planning Third San Francisco Store; First Stockton Unit.

Related stories from Fresh & Easy Buzz:

>November 12, 2008: Analysis: Hard Times at Fresh & Easy - Northern California Expansion to Be Postponed or Shelved Do to Economy; But its Only a Symptom Not the Cause

>November 20, 2008: Analysis & Commentary: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and Tesco's Lowered Expectations

>May 15, 2008: Fresh But Never Easy: Tesco's Long But Rapid South-North March in the Nation-State of California

>April 13, 2008: April 13, 2008: San Francisco: Cool Bay Breezes, A City Full of History, Cable Cars--And A 'Fresh & Easy' State of Mind

>July 29, 2008: Tesco's Fresh & Easy and San Francisco's Tenderloin Redux: Upcoming Developments Offer First Mover Opportunity For Fresh & Easy or Competitors

>December 29, 2008: Tesco's Fresh & Easy, 'Food Deserts' and WIC Vouchers; A 'Year-End' Analysis & Commentary

>September 30, 2008: News & Analysis: Tesco Reports Half-Year Financials; Reports Loss For Fresh & Easy USA and Sales Per Square Foot Averages

>September 17, 2008: Store Workers at Huntington Beach Fresh & Easy Demand Union Recognition From Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market

>November 16, 2008: California: The State of the State and its Economy; Governor to Propose Tax Increases and Massive Spending Cuts to Fix $11 Billion Budget Shortfall

>February 11, 2009: Tesco to Open Third Bakersfield, California Fresh & Easy Store On February 25.

>December 3, 2008: Tesco Opens its First Two California Fresh & Easy Stores Outside of Southern California in the Central Valley City of Bakersfield Today

>November 5, 2008: Upcoming New Markets News: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Confirms Bakersfield, CA Stores; Says First Two Will Open Next Month on December 3rd, 2008

>March 10, 2008: Bakersfield, California Region Next Up On the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market New Store Parade

>May 24, 2008: Upcoming New Markets Special Report: The Changing 'Face' of Retailing in Bakersfield, California

>March 26, 2008: Mid-Week Tesco Fresh & Easy Roundup

>May 14, 2008: Fresh & Easy Buzz Exclusive: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Plans to Open Five Stores In the Fresno, California Metropolitan Region

>March 8, 2008: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Northern California DC Likely to Be At Arch Road Site In Stockton

>September 15, 2008: Wal-Mart Expanding its Discount Store-to-Supercenter Conversion Program As Part of its Strategy to Grab Even More Food and Grocery Sales Market Share

>December 29, 2008: Competitor News: Winco Foods to Expand in California and Nevada in 2009; Put Aggressive Focus on Central Valley, Northern California and Northern Nevada

>February 11, 2009: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Isn't the Only Food & Grocery Retailer With its Eyes on Bakersfield: Wal-Mart's Bakersfield Push and Central Valley, CA Strategy

>February 28, 2008: News & Analysis: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Confirms 19 Store Locations for the Sacramento-Vacaville Region in Northern California

>January 28, 2008: Fresh & Easy Applies For Liquor Licenses for Four Sacramento, California Stores

>Monday, November 17, 2008: Sacramento City Design Board Agrees With Oak Park Group on Design Changes For Proposed Fresh & Easy Store; Escrow Closed on $1.1 Million Parcel

>November 12, 2008: Analysis: Hard Times at Fresh & Easy - Northern California Expansion to Be Postponed or Shelved Do to Economy; But its Only a Symptom Not the Cause

>November 16, 2008: Tesco Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason Says He's 'Deliriously Happy' With the Chain's Progress Thus Far; We Prefer Andy Grove's 'Only the Paranoid Survive'

>Wednesday, October 8, 2008: Putting the 'Neighborhood' in Neighborhood Market: 'Localism' and Tesco's Proposed Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market in Sacramento's Oak Park

>Tuesday, October 7, 2008: Sacramento's Oak Park Neighborhood Association Files Appeal On Design of Proposed Neighborhood Fresh & Easy Store; Hearing Set For Oct.15

>Wednesday, October 15, 2008: Hearing Tonight For Sacramento, CA Neighborhood Group's Appeal of Design of Fresh & Easy Store Proposed For Their Oak Park Neighborhood

>December 3, 2008: Swearing-In of New Sacramento, CA Mayor Kevin Johnson Delayed A Few Hours Over A $2.2 Million Tesco Fresh & Easy Agenda Item

>July 16, 2008: Fresh Feature: A Former NBA All-Star Who Wants to Become Mayor, A Trade Union, And A Future Tesco Fresh & Easy Grocery Store In Sacramento, California

>April 29, 2008: Tesco's Fresh & Easy an Issue in Sacramento, California Mayor's Race A Year Before its First Store in the Capital City Even Opens

>March 7, 2008: Former NBA All-Star and Sacramento Native Kevin Johnson is the Driving Force Behind a Fresh & Easy Market in Sacramento's Oak Park Neighborhood

>October 9, 2008: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Has Put 16 of its 93 Stores in Formerly Vacant Supermarket Buildings and Plans to Do More Coversions While the Deals Are Hot

>February 19, 2008: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Serving as an Economic Stimulus Package of Sorts for California's Troubled Commercial Retail Real Estate Industry

>January 30, 2009: Competitor News: Safeway Stores, Inc. Confirms Second Small-Format 'The Market' Unit to Be in San Jose, CA; Fresh & Easy Buzz Nailed it in June, 2008

>December 30, 2008: Competitor News: Smart & Final Appears Pleased With its Eight Hybrid 'Extra' Format Stores, More On the Way in 2009

>December 12, 2008: Competitor News: Safeway CEO Steve Burd Says Small-Format 'The Market' Is 'Good' So Far But Not 'Great;' But Must Be 'Great' in Order To Expand

>December 29, 2008: Competor News: Winco Foods to Expand in California and Nevada in 2009; Put Aggressive Focus on Central Valley, Northern California and Northern Nevada

>September 15, 2008: Wal-Mart Expanding its Discount Store-to-Supercenter Conversion Program As Part of its Strategy to Grab Even More Food and Grocery Sales Market Share

>May 18, 2008: Wal-Mart Looking For Sites in California For it's Small-Format 'Marketside' Grocery

>Tesco thus far has a couple Fresh & Easy stores planned for Northern Nevada, which is much closer geographically to Northern California (less than three hours from Sacramento), and is a much more similar market to Northern California than it is to southern Nevada, which is one of Tesco Fresh & Easy's existing market regions, along with Southern California, Bakersfield and Metro Phoenix, Arizona. Story link: Reno-Sparks, Nevada.

[You can follow Fresh & Easy Buzz around on at]


NorCal Food Broker said...

In over 25 years, as first a retailer and now a food broker in Northern California, I've never until now seen a grocer acquire so many store sites but not open any of them for well over a year after doing so. The numerous completed but not opened Fresh & Easy stores are creating bad publicity for Tesco in NorCal. Having no firm opening date also is leading to much speculation that Tesco will never open any of the sotres in the market. This equals more bad publicity.

Willow Glen Resident said...

I agree that leaving the stores vacant has created a negative perception of Fresh and Easy. I live near the Bird Avenue location in San Jose and there was another local grocer who wanted to locate in that space. We would have enjoyed having a premium grocery for the last two years instead of a vacant building. Fresh and Easy is locking up available Real Estate and yet they won't bother opening to serve the community. Bad business....

Unknown said...

I agree with the comments of the Willow Glen resident. I too live in Willow Glen and am appalled by the business practices of Fresh and Easy. They have left the community high and dry for over a year. I just checked their site and did a google search and there seems to be no information on when this store will open. Either open the store or let the lease go so that another grocer can open business in this space. Poorly done. I for one will not shop there if it does eventually open.

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

Tesco's Fresh & Easy has pulled out of the Edgewood Plaza Shopping Center location in Palo Alto. The project's developer is currently looking for a new grocer to anchor the center, which is set to be renovated starting soon.