Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tesco and its Fresh & Easy Chain Hoping 'Seven' is the Lucky Number For 'Fresh & Easy Express'

Construction on the Fresh & Easy Express store at Victory Boulevard and Buena Vista Street in Burbank, California, pictured above and below, is in full swing. The store is set for an early 2012 opening. The photos were taken by a Fresh & Easy Buzz correspondent on November 18, 2011. Note the "now hiring" banner in the photo below. [Photo credit: Fresh & Easy Buzz.]

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market opened its first 3,000 square-foot (of selling space within a 4,000 square-foot interior space) Fresh & Easy Express format store at La Cienega Boulevard and 18th Street (1788 S. La Cienega Blvd.) in Los Angeles, California on November 2.

[See - November 1, 2011: Analysis: Tesco Opens First 'Fresh & Easy Express' Store Tomorrow in Los Angeles ... So What ... ? and November 2, 2011: Open in Los Angeles: A Look at the First 'Fresh & Easy Express' Store for details.]

Over the last week or so we've received e-mails from numerous Fresh & Easy Buzz readers, asking how many additional 'Express' stores Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market currently plans to open.

As we've previously reported, including most recently in our November 1, 2011 piece linked above, we've discovered an additional six Fresh & Easy Express stores Tesco and its Fresh & Easy chain plan to open next year, for a total of seven units thus far. All seven stores are in Southern California.

As a service to our readers, we've identified the specific locations of the additional six Fresh & Easy Express stores Tesco's Fresh & Easy currently plans to open.

Listed below are the addresses of all seven 'Express' units - the store opened November 2 and the six additional units planned thus far.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy has not publicly announced the specific locations of the six of the additional 'Express' stores to date. Therefore, we believe you're seeing all six locations for the first time here.

1. Los Angeles
La Cienega Boulevard and 18th Street
Los Angeles County
(Opened November 2, 2011)

2. Los Angeles
Figuera Street and Jeffferson Boulevard (near USC campus)
Los Angeles County

3. Los Angeles/San Pedro
Sixth and Gaffey Streets
Los Angeles County

4. Burbank
Victory Boulevard and Buena Vista Street
Los Angeles County

5. Hermosa Beach
Pacific Coast Highway and 8th Street
Los Angeles County.

6. Laguna Niguel
Crown Valley Parkway and Golden Street
Orange County.

7. Seal Beach
800 Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street
Orange County

The Burbank Fresh & Easy Express unit, pictured above and at top, is in a strip mall.  It will be the only grocery market in the small strip center. There's a Kroger-owned Ralphs supermarket across the street. Ralphs' is the leading grocery chain in Southern California. [Photo credit: Fresh & Easy Buzz 11/18/11.]

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is currently preparing three of the six yet-to-be-opened 'Express' format stores listed above - the Figuera Street and Jeffferson Boulevard store in Los Angeles; the Pacific Coast Highway and 8th Street unit in Hermosa Beach; and the Victory Boulevard and Buena Vista Street location in Burbank - for early 2012 openings, as we noted in this story on November 15.

Fresh & Easy has also started hiring employees for the three 'Express' stores.

In addition to the seven Fresh & Easy Express locations, the 184-store fresh food and grocery chain continues to look for additional sites in California where it might locate the micro-small-format stores, which are a scaled-down version of the 10,000 square-foot standard Fresh & Easy markets.

The Fresh & Easy Express stores offer all the product categories - dry grocery, perishables, produce, meat, beer and wine, fresh-prepared foods - that the standard version Fresh & Easy stores do, but in an edited version.

For example, the 10,000 square-foot markets stock about 5,500 SKUs. In contrast, the Fresh & Easy Express format features about 2,500-2700 SKUs in the 3,000 square-feet of selling space.

The 'Express' store opened on November 2 in Los Angeles also has an in-store bakery and self-service coffee bar, which are features Tesco's Fresh & Easy is adding to about 100 of its stores. According to our sources, plans are for all of the Fresh & Easy Express stores to include the bakeries and coffee bars.

Tesco and its Fresh & Easy chain have said the Fresh & Easy Express format is a test.

However, Tim Mason, the CEO of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and Tesco's group deputy CEO-chief marketing officer, said last year and again this year (see here and here) that Fresh & Easy could open as many as 70 new stores in the Los Angeles area over the next couple years.

Fresh & Easy has opened a handful of new stores in Los Angeles this year, with some planned there for next year. Many of the 70 potential units Mason is referring to would be Fresh & Easy Express stores, according to the information we have.

But for now its a total of seven Fresh & Easy Express stores that Tesco's Fresh & Easy plans to have open and operating in 2012.

And ... Tesco and its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain are hoping it's the 'Lucky Number Seven' when it comes to its Fresh & Easy Express format.


Jass said...

Could you write a post explaining the strategy behind their locations, both normal and express?

For example:

1) Why so many locations new building construction when there's so much available empty retail space...sometimes in the very same strip mall they're building into.

2) Why are so many stores located directly across the street from an existing full-service grocer?

3) Why are some store locations laid out years in advance?

For 3, take this example in Fresno.

Parking lot built (and painted) back in 2009, with no signs of the store ever being built as we enter 2012. Why spend money on the parking lot so far in advance? Why pay for the land?

Heres another Fresno example. After having the parking lot sit idle for years, a Fresh And Easy building was erected this summer...but according to this blog, no opening is planned in the near future.

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

Thanks for the comment Jass - and good suggestion.

Would you please drop us an email at Want to provide you with some information per your comment questions, along with asking you a question.


PS: Just mention in the email you are the Jass who left the comment. Thanks.

Frank Acevedo said...

Does anyone know if the Fresh & Easy store opening in the old roller rink on Del Monte in Monterey is a Fresh & Easy Express store or a regular-size Fresh & Easy market?