Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fresh Buzz - News & Notes About Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market: 'Drought' Ends; Hollywood Fresh & Easy to Start Selling Beer and Wine

Breaking Buzz: After 16 Long, 'Dry' Months, Hollywood, California Fresh & Easy Store on Hollywood Boulevard to Start Selling Beer and Wine This Week

The Hollywood, California (7021 Hollywood Boulevard & Sycamore) Tesco Fresh & Easy store (pictured at top) will finally begin selling beer and wine this week, Fresh Buzz has learned.

Beginning this week, the Hollywood Boulevard store will start offering beer and wine but not hard liquor, which requires a separate license.

The Hollywood Fresh & Easy market, which opened on January 23, 2008, until this week was one of just two Fresh & Easy units Fresh Buzz is aware of in Southern California that since opening haven't sold alcoholic beverages of any kind, including beer and wine. There are 61 Fresh & Easy stores in Southern California.

The other store, the Fresh & Easy market at 15230 Vanowen Street in the Van Nuys area of Los Angeles, still doesn't sell any alcoholic beverages. [Learn more here - October 9, 2008: Reader Reponse: Details on Tesco Fresh & Easy Stores Denied Licenses and Permits to Sell Spirits, Beer and Wine in Southern California.]

The reason the Hollywood Fresh & Easy market hasn't sold beer and wine (or spirits) until this week is because the retailer's applications for a liquor license and beer and wine permit for the Hollywood store were both denied after the Rite Aid drug store chain, which has a store next to the Hollywood Boulevard Fresh & Easy unit, opposed granting the store the permits because of an ordinance in the city that requires there only be a set number of stores within a given geographical area that are allowed to sell spirits, beer and wine.

The Rite Aid drug store next to the Hollywood Fresh & Easy sells hard liquor, wine and beer.

The issue has now been resolved regarding beer and wine only, allowing the Fresh & Easy market to start selling the adult beverages this week.

In Fresh Buzz's analysis the ability to now offer wine and beer for sale at the Hollywood Boulevard Fresh & Easy store is a plus for the grocer for a variety of reasons.

First, the neighborhood's demographics -- lots of younger consumers and wine and beer drinkers -- means added sales for the store. Many shoppers have complained since the store opened in January, 2008 about not being able to pick up a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer with their other purchases while in the store. Now they can.

Second, the Hollywood Boulevard neighborhood is a major tourist area. Hollywood tourists are known to sometimes enjoy a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer. Now when tourists shop at the Fresh & Easy store for prepared foods, they can add beer and wine to their purchases.

Additionally, since Tesco's Fresh & Easy offers numerous (over 60 SKUs) proprietary wine blends -- including its $1.99 a bottle ($2.99 in Nevada and Arizona) Big Kahuna brand Australian wine -- the store's wine category offerings will provide some differentiation to shoppers -- and for the grocer -- vis-a-vis the nearly next door Rite-Aid drug store's wine selection. This is a plus for the Hollywood Fresh & Easy store since its offerings aren't just a duplicate of the drug store's.

Fresh & Easy stores also sell numerous varieties of micro-brew beers, which also should appeal to the neighborhood's consumer demographics. The nearby Rite-Aid drug store offers fewer micro-brew beer selections than Fresh & Easy markets do, for example.

Lastly, Tesco's Fresh & Easy offers its own store brand version of the popular Corona brand beer. That Fresh & Easy store brand beer is called Taurino. The proprietary store brand beer is brewed in El Salvador and comes in a 12-pack.

Fresh & Easy often offers its Tourino store brand beer on sale, something that should appeal to the numerous struggling actors and screenwriters (and others) that populate the Hollywood Boulevard neighborhood near the Hollywood & Sycamore Fresh & Easy store. The 12-packs of Tourino beer sell for about $6.99 everyday at the Fresh & Easy stores.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy says the imported Tourino store brand beer is the top-selling beer brand at its grocery and fresh foods markets in California (Southern and Bakersfield), southern Nevada and Metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona.

Selling beer, wine and spirits is a sales plus for grocers because the items help to increase the average customer market basket size (total dollar amount per purchase), which is a key metric for food retailers. Shoppers pick up a bottle or two of wine with their food purchases and buy snacks and other complementary items along with their beer purchases, for example. It's a win-win for grocers.

Customers can now do so to their hearts (or palates) content beginning this week at the Hollywood Bloulevard Fresh & Easy grocery and fresh foods market.

Related Stories From Fresh & Easy Buzz:

>October 9, 2008: Reader Reponse: Details on Tesco Fresh & Easy Stores Denied Licenses and Permits to Sell Spirits, Beer and Wine in Southern California

>January 23, 2008: Big 'Hollywood Style' Premere Today for New Hollywood Fresh & Easy Store

>January 16, 2008: Fresh & Easy Goes Hollywood: New Store to Open Next Week

>February 18, 2009: Oscar Night Marketing: Fresh & Easy Scores A Gold With Just Out Academy Awards Night Tie-In News Release

>September 2, 2008: Fresh & Easy Gets Local; Creates Free 'Indie' Music Concert Series at its Hollywood, CA Store For September

>July 14, 2008: Breaking News & Analysis: CA Assemblyman Introduces 'Tesco Fresh & Easy Law' to Ban Stores With Self-Checkout-Only From Selling Alcoholic Beverages

>June 11, 2008: Out of His Compound and Hitting the Street; the 'Militant Angeleno' Shops and Reviews the Hollywood, California Fresh & Easy Grocery Store

>June 17, 2008: Celebrity Sightings: The Los Angeles Nomad Spots Long Tall (John) Salley at the Hollywood, California Fresh & Easy On Hollywood Blvd.

>February 10, 2008: the Haphazard Gourmet Girls Visit the Hollywood, California Fresh & Easy, and 'Love it Dahling'

>May 14, 2008: New Foods At Fresh & Easy: Los Angeles' 'Homeboy Bakery' and Tesco's Fresh & Easy Could Be A Match 'Made in Heaven'

>January 29, 2009: Breaking News: New-Wave, Hybrid Food-Grocery-Convenience Store 'Locali Conscious Convenience' to Open Tomorrow in Hollywood, California

>September 11, 2008: 'Locali Conscious Convenience:' New Small-Format Hybrid Convenience-Grocery Store Coming to Hollywood, California

>October 27, 2008: Category Management Report: Fresh & Easy Conducting Wine Category Review and SKU Rationalization; We Offer Some Analysis

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