Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and Walmart Create A September New Grocery Store Rain Storm in Oceanside, California

Call it a September rain storm of new grocery stores in the coastal San Diego County, California city of Oceanside.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is opening three new stores in San Diego County tomorrow - and two of the three markets are in Oceanside. The third store is in San Diego.

Hybrid Walmart supercenter opens

The two new Fresh & Easy stores opening tomorrow in Oceanside come on the heels of the soft opening two weeks ago of a hybrid Walmart supercenter, which was created out of an existing Walmart discount format store after months of renovation. The store is at 2100 West Vista Way.

Over the summer, Walmart converted the now former discount store into a hybrid supercenter, adding fresh foods - meats, produce, a deli - a bakery, and expanded selections of perishables, frozen foods and groceries, as it's doing with numerous discount stores in Southern California and throughout the U.S.

A hybrid supercenter, in our definition, is a Walmart discount format store that's been converted to what's generally a smaller and less extensive version of a traditional, built-from-the-ground-up Walmart supercenter. A hybrid can also be a smaller supercenter, like the one in Modesto, California, that's been located inside an existing building. [See - May 6, 2010: Going Smaller & Getting 'Hybrid': Walmart's Smaller Supercenter in Vacant Retail Buildings Strategy Began in 2008

Unlike it's doing with many of its other discount store-to-supercenter conversions, Walmart didn't add any additional square-footage to house the fresh foods and expanded groceries (essentially a supermarket-within-the-store) in the Vista Way store. Instead, it shrunk the electronics department considerably, along with reducing the size of some of the store's other general merchandise departments, in order to make room for the fresh foods and bakery areas and expanded frozen, perishable and grocery product offerings.

The hybrid supercenter has smaller fresh food departments than a traditional, built-from-the-ground up supercenter, which average about 180,000 square-feet. Walmart is also building smaller new supercenters than it has in the best. The smallest range from 140,000-160,000 square-feet, although there are some exceptions in terms of being smaller.

The converted Oceanside store is very much like the Walmart hybrid supercenter in Modesto, California in terms of size, layout and consumable and general merchandise selections. The Modesto store, which is about 98,000 square-feet, is the first and to date only supercenter the retailer has housed in a completely renovated vacant big box store.

The Vista Way store in Oceanside, which is about 110,000 square-feet, remained open throughout the renovation process. Walmart has yet to officially announce the hybrid supercenter's completion and hold a grand opening, as it does with all of its fully-renovated stores, particularly those converted to supercenters.

Fresh & Oceanside

Meanwhile, the two Fresh & Easy stores opening tomorrow in Oceanside mark the grocer's first entry into the city's food and grocery retailing market. There are currently eight (11 as of tomorrow) Fresh & Easy markets in San Diego County, but none in Oceanside. That changes tomorrow.

The two stores are within a short driving distance from one another in Oceanside. One unit is at 4131 Oceanside Boulevard (College and Oceanside) and the other store is at 4908 North River Road (River Road and College).

The third Fresh & Easy store in San Diego County opening tomorrow is at 3231 East University Avenue (32nd Street and University Avenue).

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is holding grand openings at all three new stores tomorrow, starting at 10 am.

Fresh & Easy: By the numbers

There are currently 165 Fresh & Easy stores in California, southern Nevada and Metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona.

The openings tomorrow of the three new stores in San Diego County will give the fresh food and grocery chain 168 units.

After tomorrow, those 168 stores will break down by market region as follows:

~Southern California
=93 stores

~Central Valley, California/Bakersfield region
=7 stores

~Central Valley, California/Fresno region
=7 stores

~Metropolitan Las Vegas, Nevada region
=27 stores

~Metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona region
=34 stores

October openings

As of today, Tesco's Fresh & Easy hasn't announced any new store openings for October.

As we've previously reported, so far, according to our sources, three new stores are planned for October 2010 openings.

However, new store openings are a moving target at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market headquarters in El Segundo, California. Therefore the number of new stores to be opened in October could increase before the grocery chain makes an announcement, which should be coming soon. Fresh & Easy could also decide not to open the three stores in October, as part of that moving target process.

Raining cats and grocery stores

Meanwhile, with the opening of the Vista Way Walmart hybrid Walmart supercenter, offering a full-selection of fresh food and grocery products, along with the two new Fresh & Easy fresh food and grocery markets opening tomorrow morning, the folks of coastal Oceanside, California have had their grocery shopping choices trebled in the first three weeks in September.

Related stories:

September 15, 2010: Two New Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Stores Open in Fresno, California Region Today

September 8, 2010: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Hits (and Breaks) the 100-Store Mark in California With Today's Openings

September 7, 2010: 'Big Bang' September: First Four of Nine New Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Stores Opening on September 8

July 14, 2010: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Confirms Our June 25 Report it Will Open Nine New Stores in September 2010

June 25, 2010: A Four Month Pause: No New Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Stores Set to Open Until September 2010

June 1, 2010: No New Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Stores Likely This Month

May 1, 2010: No New Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Stores Set to Open This Month

March 30, 2010: Tesco Set to Open 11 New Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Stores in April

March 29, 2010: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Set to Hit 150-Plus Store-Count Mark on April 7

March 16, 2010: A New Fresh & Easy Store Opens in Las Vegas Tomorrow on St. Patrick's Day; Will Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy's Proud Irish Eyes Be Smiling?

March 7, 2010: Three New Fresh & Easy Stores Opening This Month; First Opening March 10 in Palm Springs, California

January 27, 2010: February New Store Opening 'Big Bang' For Tesco's Fresh & Easy; Nine New Stores So Far

February 24, 2010: Fresh & Easy Store Opens its Doors in South Los Angeles

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