Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hermosa Beach, California Fresh & Easy Express Taking Shape For January 11, 2012 Opening

What a difference a week or so makes: New signs on the future Fresh & Easy Express, pictured above. Above photo taken 12/19/11. Photo below from our December 13, 2011 story. Photo credits: Fresh & Easy Buzz.

Retail Ethnography - Welcome to the (Eclectic) Neighborhood

A week ago today we wrote and published this story - December 13, 2011: Welcome to the (Eclectic) Neighborhood: Hermosa Beach, California Fresh & Easy Express Set to Open Jan. 11, 2012 - about the Fresh & Easy Express store Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is preparing to open in early January 2012.

In the story we reported that El Segundo, California-based Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market plans to open what is calls internally the "F3 store" on January 11, 2012.

The Fresh & Easy Express stores have about 3,000 square-feet of selling space in what is about 4,000 square-feet of interior space, hence the "F3 store" moniker. The standard stores are called F10's because they have 10,000 square-feet of selling space.

The grocery chain hasn't announced the opening date of the Hermosa Beach Fresh & Easy Express store, or the dates of any other stores it plans to open in January 2012.

Since our story came out last Tuesday, Tesco's Fresh & Easy has made considerable progress on the 'Express' store, which is located on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and 8th Street in Hermosa Beach.

For example, as you can see in the photograph at top taken Monday, December 19, the exterior of the building, which previously housed a furniture store called Mortise & Tenon, now sports two new signs - the vertical sign directing shoppers to the store's parking lot on 8th Street and the Fresh & Easy signage on the building's facade.

If you take a look at the second photo at top, which is from our December 13 story, you'll see that the two signs weren't on the future Fresh & Easy Express store.

The vertical Fresh & Easy Express sign (see top photo) directing shoppers to the parking lot on 8th Street replaced the old Mortsie & Tenon furniture store sign (see second photo at top).

The Hermosa Beach unit is one of four Fresh & Easy Express stores the grocer plans so far to open in early 2012, all in Southern California.

The other three units are: Los Angeles (Figueroa Street and Jefferson Boulevard); Burbank (Victory Boulevard and Buena Vista); and Laguna Niguel (Crown Valley Parkway and Golden.)

The first Fresh & Easy Express store opened November 2, 2011 in Los Angeles See the November 1 and 2, 2011 stories linked at the end of this piece for details and photographs.

On November 15, 2011 Fresh & Easy Market announced via a press release that it plans to open 20-plus new stores in early 2012.

The Tesco-owned fresh food and grocery chain didn't and hasn't announce the specific locations of the stores, mentioning just the cities the grocery markets will be located in.

However, through our reporting and research we've identified the addresses of the 20-plus stores, which we published in this story on November 15: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market to Open 20-Plus New Stores in Early 2012 - We Have What's Not in the Press Release.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy will close out 2011 with 184 stores in California (135 stores), Arizona (28 units) and Nevada (21 units.)

Of the 135 grocery markets located in California, 105 units are in Southern California. There are 14 stores, seven units each in metro Bakersfield and metro Fresno, in the mid-to-southern Central Valley, and 16 stores in Northern California.

Tesco has opened 29 new Fresh & Easy stores in calendar year 2011. No new store openings are planned the the remainder of the year.

The Hermosa Beach Fresh & Easy Express store is slated to open in three weeks. Stay tuned.

Related Stories

December 13, 2011: Welcome to the (Eclectic) Neighborhood: Hermosa Beach, California Fresh & Easy Express Set to Open Jan. 11, 2012

November 23, 2011: Tesco and its Fresh & Easy Chain Hoping 'Seven' is the Lucky Number For 'Fresh & Easy Express'

November 2, 2011: Open in Los Angeles: A Look at the First 'Fresh & Easy Express' Store

November 1, 2011: Analysis: Tesco Opens First 'Fresh & Easy Express' Store Tomorrow in Los Angeles ... So What ... ?

July 30, 2011: First 4,000 Sq. Ft. Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market 'Express' Store Set to Open in Los Angeles' San Pedro Community This Year

January 23, 2011: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Looking For Locations For New, Smaller-Format 4,000-to-5,000 Square-Foot Stores


Kevin said...

Has anyone noticed if construction on the Fresh & Easy Express store across from the USC campus in Los Angeles has started?

Anonymous said...

The express stores are actually called F3 stores. Theres also a few F7 (7000 sq ft) shops and of course the f10 which is the traditional sized f&e store.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there are more than a handful of F7 shops right now. I know Anaheim Hills in Orange County is an f7 and there are a couple more in So. Cal but I'm not exactly sure what cities they are in. I think Walnut Park is also f7 but don't quote me on that. I live in Orange County and don't venture to F&Es in other counties very often. To be fair though, the average person may not even realize it if they were shopping in one of the f7 shops. The product line is pretty much identical to an f10, the only thing you might notice right away is that the aisles aren't as wide, and the shelves aren't as deep. That sorta thing. Hope this helps!

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

Agree anonymous December 28, 2011 12:29 PM:

From our experience the average shopper has no idea one store is 10K square-feet (F10) and the other is 7K square-feet (F7).

Pretty hard to distinguish with all the fixtures and product on the shelves.

Also, the 3K square-foot size difference between the F10 and F7 stores isn't that significant to the average person, in terms of a visual perspective.

The 3K square-foot Express stores are different of course, as being less than half the size of both the F7 and the F10 stores, the size difference is obvious, along with the much edited product selection.

In terms of the F7 stores, don't believe there are many more than a handful either.

We've suggested before that F&E should test a 20K (F20) square-foot store, like Aldi USA is doing. There are suburban locations where a bigger store would make good sense. Thoughts?

Thanks for your input!

Matthew Brannigan said...

Agreed. I always thought that both the size of the store that Fresh and Easy originally aimed for, around 10k, and also the style of the store, was based on them aiming to emulate Trader Joes and Aldi, so it would certainly make sense that if Trader Joes or Aldi stores start getting bigger Fresh and Easy may dabble in some bigger locations as well.

Anonymous said...

I live near the Fresh & Easy Express on La Cienega. The store looks nice but my big complaint is there's not enough of a selection to allow us to do all our shopping there. Especially meats and produce. It's a little more than a convenience store but not a full grocery market. We have to split our shopping with Ralphs even though the Fresh & Easy is closest.