Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Preparing For A Spate of New Store Openings Beginning in August

The next Fresh & Easy store to open is (above) at 3rd and Carroll in San Francisco. [Photo credit: Fresh & Easy Buzz.]

Breaking Buzz: New Stores

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has to date announced it will open one store in August - its second unit in San Francisco - which is in the 5800 Third Street condominium development at 3rd Street and Carroll Avenue in the city's Bayview District.

However, the 176-store Tesco-owned grocery chain is queuing up a number of stores for openings in August and the following months, Fresh & Easy Buzz has learned.

We broke the news in this May 14, 2011 story [Breaking Buzz: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Plans August 24 Opening For Third & Carroll Store in San Francisco's Bayview District] that Tesco's Fresh & Easy planned to open the new store at 3rd Street and Carroll Avenue in San Francisco on August 24. [Also see - May 10, 2011: Breaking Buzz: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Plans to Open First San Francisco Store at 32nd and Clement June 22.]

Two weeks later, on May 23, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market confirmed our report by announcing in a press release it would open its first store in San Francisco - at 32nd Avenue and Clement Street in the Outer Richmond District - June 22, and its second unit, the 3rd Street and Carroll Avenue store, August 24, just as we reported in the May 10 story.

[See - May 23, 2011: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Confirms Our Reports First Two San Francisco Stores to Open June 22 and August 24, 2011. Also read - June 22, 2011: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Opens First Store in San Francisco - in Outer Richmond District.]

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market doesn't normally announce store opening dates until three-to-four weeks prior to the given date of the opening. However, sources at the grocery chain tell us since we reported the opening date of the 3rd Street and Carroll store in early May, the retailer decided in part based on that to announce the date, along with the June 22 store opening, even though it was more than three months in advance of the August 24 opening, because it was receiving numerous inquiries, asking if the date we reported was correct.

In addition to the 3rd Street and Carroll Avenue store's August 24 opening date, we reported earlier this year Fresh & Easy is queuing up three additional stores, all in Northern California, for openings soon.

Those three stores are in the cities of Hayward, Antioch and Fairfield. You can read the details and get the addresses of the stores in the two stories linked here - March 15, 2011: San Francisco, Antioch and Fairfield Stores Next Up in Northern California For Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market; and May 15, 2011: Breaking Buzz: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Plans to Open Second Store in Hayward, California August 10.

In addition to correctly reporting the planned August 24, 2011 opening of the 3rd Street and Carroll Avenue Fresh & Easy store in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood on May 10 (as well as the June 22 opening of the Outer Richmond District store), we reported in the May 15 story linked above that the Hayward store, located at A Street and Hesperian Boulevard, will open August 10.

The store will be the grocer's second unit in the East Bay Area city. Tesco opened its first Fresh & Easy store in Hayward - at Mission Boulevard and Rousseau Street - April 27, 2011.[See - April 27, 2011: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market at 175 (Stores): Three New Stores Open in Northern California Today.]

We (and you) should know in a couple weeks or so if our reporting on the Hayward store's opening date is correct because if it is opening August 10, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market will announce it 3-4 weeks in advance.

We stand behind the reported date. But as we always say in the blog, new store opening dates are fluid and dynamic at Tesco's Fresh & Easy. Therefore, the dates are always subject to change, as has been the case since the first units were opened in November 2007.

In addition to the San Francisco and Hayward stores opening in August - currently we're looking for August-to-October opening dates for the Fairfield and Antioch units - Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is now preparing a fifth store in Northern California for an opening in the coming months. That store is at Tasmine Drive and Fair Oaks Avenue in Sunnyvale, making five units in Northern California at the top of the upcoming new store opening list at Tesco's Fresh & Easy.

Southern California

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is also queuing up four stores in Southern California for the next round of openings, which will start in August.

The locations of the stores in Southern California next up are:


>Anaheim - Euclid and Broadway
>Long Beach - Long Beach Boulevard and 5th Street
>Long Beach - Atlantic Avenue and 33rd Street
>Los Angeles - Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Sherman

This makes nine new Fresh & Easy stores set to open soon in California, based on our reporting to date. Fresh & Easy has so far only announced the opening date (August 24) of the store at 3rd Street and Carroll Avenue in San Francisco.

Fresh & Easy Buzz is the first and only publication that's reported these stores are next up to open.

Tesco said in April it plans to open about 50 Fresh & Easy stores this year, confirming our reports far in advance of that date, in which we said it would open 40-50 Fresh & Easy fresh food and grocery markets this year. [See our April 19, 2011 report here for details.]

So far this year Tesco has opened 22 Fresh & Easy stores - 12 in Northern California and 10 in Southern California. That leaves 28 Fresh & Easy units to be opened from August through December to hit the 50-store mark.

No Fresh & Easy stores are being opened this month.

One store, the unit at 32nd and Clement in San Francisco, was opened in June.

The 22 Fresh  Easy stores were opened between January and April of this year.

No new stores were opened in May.

We correctly reported in late 2010 and early 2011 that California would be the focus of Tesco's new store openings for 2011. It has been the case so far this year - and it will be for the remainder of 2011. For example, read this January 14, 2011 story: Tesco 'Banking' on California in 2011 For Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA.

Tesco currently has 176 Fresh & Easy stores in California, Nevada and Arizona.

The stores are about 10,000 square-feet and offer about 5,000 SKUs of fresh foods - produce, meats, fresh-prepared foods - packaged food and grocery items, perishables, frozen foods, wine and beer (and liquor in some stores) and a limited selection of health and personal care and general merchandise products.

Of the 176 stores, 127 units are in California. There are 101 stores in Southern California, 12 units in Northern California, and seven stores respectively in the Bakersfield and Fresno metro regions in the Central Valley.

Additionally Tesco has 28 stores in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona and 21 units in metro Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market hasn't opened any new stores in Arizona this year.

No new units in either state are set open this month. Thus far, based on our reporting, no new Fresh & Easy store openings are planned in Arizona and Nevada for August either.

In fact, Tesco closed six under-performing stores in Nevada and in Arizona in November 2010, along with one unit in Southern California, giving it 12 fewer stores in the two states combined than it had nine months ago. [See here.]

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