Monday, March 5, 2012

First Look at One of the Two Fresh & Easy Stores Opening In Sacramento Wednesday

Sacramento Bound

Pictured above is the Fresh & Easy grocery market at Watt Avenue & El Camino Avenue in Sacramento, which opens March 7. The photos were taken last week - the one at top during the day, the one above at night - as workers prepared the store for Wednesday's opening. [Photo credit: Fresh & Easy Buzz.]

Wednesday morning Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market will make its long-awaited - and long-postponed - launch in metropolitan Sacramento, California, opening two stores, at Watt Avenue & El Camino Avenue and Mack Road and Franklin Boulevard, in Sacramento.

The following Wednesday, March 14, Fresh & Easy will open three stores in three Sacramento-area cities - Folsom (East Natoma Street and Blue Ravine Road), Elk Grove (Elk Grove Florin Road and Calvine Road) and Lincoln (Lincoln and Sterling Road.)

In November 2011 Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market said it would open a sixth store in the region, at 34th Street and Broadway in Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood, before the end of March. Fresh & Easy hasn't announced an opening date for that store yet.

Fresh & Easy's Sacramento market region launch is long-awaited, as well as long-postponed, because it was in February 2008 when the fresh food and grocery chain announced its plans to enter the market, listing 19 store locations it said it would start out with.

United Kingdom-based Tesco originally planned to start opening Fresh & Easy stores in metro Sacramento as early as mid-to-late 2009, as part of a planned launch into Northern California. However it postponed the Northern California launch because of Fresh & Easy's poor performance.

Tesco and Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market also decided not to launch into Northern California in 2010, again because of the chain's poor performance and numerous problems.

Finally, in March 2011, Fresh & Easy launched into Northern California. To date there are 19 stores in Northern California - 16 in the San Francisco Bay Area and one each in Fairfield, which is on the outer border of the Bay Area; Vacaville, which is about midway between Sacramento and the Bay Area; and Modesto, which is about an hour's drive from both Sacramento and the East Bay Area.

The opening of the first two stores in Sacramento on Wednesday, including the unit at Watt Avenue and El Camino Avenue pictured at top, comes a year and five days after Fresh & Easy opened the first two stores in Northern, in San Jose and Danville, as we reported here on March 2, 2011: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Opens First Two Stores in Northern California Today.

Coming this week

We'll have a piece in the blog later this week offering analysis on Tesco's move into the metro Sacramento market, along with a competitive analysis of the key food and grocery retailing players in the region.

Suggested reading below: A primer on Tesco's Fresh & Easy in the Sacramento metropolitan market region

February 9, 2012: Confirmed: First 2 Fresh & Easy Stores Open in Sacramento March 7; 3 in Metro-Area March 14

January 18, 2012: Fast-Growing The Fresh Market Chain On Track to Launch in California This Year

August 3, 2011: Fast-Growing Specialty Grocer The Fresh Market Targeting Mid-2012 For First California Store

August 31, 2011: Tesco Says Sayonara to Japan, Good Morning to Sacramento

August 29, 2011: Meaningful Move or Too Little Too Late? Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Planning Early 2012 Metro Sacramento Market Launch

January 12, 2011: First Northern California Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Stores Opening March 2; Nine More to Follow March-April

January 10, 2011: Sprouts Farmers Market to Open Second Northern California Store in Roseville No Later Than Mid-April

December 5, 2011: Dollar General Jump-Starts California Launch: Taking Over 5 Centro Mart Supermarkets For Early 2012 Openings

November 22, 2010: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Plans Five New Stores in Northern California's Sacramento Region

September 26, 2010: While Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Postponed, Target Opened 42 'P-Fresh' Fresh Food and Grocery Markets in Northern California

August 17, 2010: Henry's Farmers Market 'Beats' Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market to Northern California Despite Multi-Year Head Start; Elk Grove Store Opens Tomorrow [Henry's is now part of Sprouts Farmers Market. The Elk Grove store has been rebranded as Sprouts Farmers Market. Details here]

July 6, 2010: Walmart Looking for Store Sites in Northern California For 20,000 Sq-Ft Neighborhood Market by Walmart Prototype Store [Walmart is going to start opening Neighborhood Market stores in Northern California this year. More here.]

October 8, 2008: Putting the 'Neighborhood' in Neighborhood Market: 'Localism' and Tesco's Proposed Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market in Sacramento's Oak Park

February 28, 2008: News & Analysis: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Confirms 19 Store Locations for the Sacramento-Vacaville Region in Northern California

See these links - , , , ,  - for additional background reading.

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