Fresh and Easy Stores

@p1kef1sh (45696)
February 8, 2008 2:49pm CST
I have jsut seena TV programme in the UK about the introduction of Fresh and Easy stores to the USA. Currently they have 40+ stores and aim to have more. In the UK they are better known as Tesco and are bigger than WalMart. Fresh and Easy will be Neighborhood stores, much smaller than their US competitors in floorspace. Is this a cause for concern to the average US consumer. Are you happy that a retail giant is masquerading as a small, local store, when really it is a huge conglomerate that has been accused of driving the soul out of local communities in the UK, and denying air for smaller local retailers.
2 responses
@dvschic (1795)
• United States
8 Feb 08
i think its a great idea. we are currently doing investigations for four locations in southern california and they will bring a fresh new option to shoppers! i'm so sick of ralphs/vons/stater bros.. let the retail giants have their smaller stores.. the US already lets Walmart in why should they deny the same opportunity to others. the US is a capitalist marketplace
@p1kef1sh (45696)
8 Feb 08
Thank you for your reply. Fantastic to get someone who is actually involved in the location of their stores. I live in a town of 60,000 people where Tesco has two stores, one in town the other a hypermarket outside town, there are two other major supermarkets in town too. I have some issues with the way that Tesco and the others challenge smaller retailers and also the origins of some of it's foodstuffs, fresh poultry particularly, but competition is healthy and if they provide a service where there might otherwise there is nothing, South Central Los Angeles for example, then maybe it will attract other retailers into the area.
@dvschic (1795)
• United States
9 Feb 08
i know they are attempting to put them in lower income areas to increase the health of the habitants. i think most mom and pop shops in so cal are used to the invasion of big business, but they have their niche market and aren't that threatened..i didn't know tesco was so large though..
@p1kef1sh (45696)
9 Feb 08
Tesco is the largest UK supermarket, Walmart trading as Asda here is the second. Walmart is the World's largest supermarket with Tesco third. Tesco are the World's fifth largest retailer. So they are pretty heavyweight. They have yet to break into the US market. Several UK large retailers have tried, and largely failed. Where Tesco is different is in it's decision to start a new business rather than buying existing businesses. Cynics in the UK see Tesco as an all pervasive malevolent force intent on replacing traditional retailing (i.e. family stores) with homogenous identikit stores. There is some evidence for this and the concern here is that they will slide quietly into US cities and towns, (which they have done successfully here) particularly where there is little or no Walmart threat, until their profile is such that the consumer loses choice because they will always end up shopping primarily with them. I am not sure that this is entirely fair to Tesco. Customers will vote with their purses. If Tesco is cheap and available, they are likely to go there rather than neighboring retailers. There is no doubt that Tesco create jobs ( which has to be a major attraction in So Cal). However, as I said in my earlier comment, I am not sure about the quality of some of their foods. I do not like intensive animal farming and Tesco are adept at squeezing the maximum from farmers. Tesco standard chicken retails at £1.99 ($3.98) each. In my view this leaves the farmer virtually giving the product away and does not incentivise him to provide anything but the minimum in poultry welfare. That, in my view, is a scandal.
@lisaviews (184)
• United States
9 Feb 08
I'm actually really excited about the Fresh and Easy stores. Here, in California (USA), they are like a cross between the organic stores (i.e. Trader Joe's and Henry's Fresh Market) but at more of a Walmart budget price. Our bigger conglomerates of retail supermarkets have been keep lots of prices high, so a little competition will certainly help. However, where I live, there will be 4 stores opening (on on February 13th) and 3 more within a 5-mile radius. They will have a lot of competition. We also have a lot of Hispanic markets here, which really give a good run for bargain prices. They are larger stores, not your local mom-and-pop place. Also, we have Winco... a huge market with one already in the area and another to begin building soon (only 2 block away from the new Fresh and Easy). Really, it is not a cause for concern, as they are filling a different niche than other stores provide. Each type of market seems to get different types of customers. The only concern I can seriously think of... it may close down some fast-food restaurants. That could be a good thing.
@p1kef1sh (45696)
9 Feb 08
I guess that the US can afford to lose a few fast food stores, I know that we could in the UK, but I struggle to use the words Organic and Tesco (Fresh & Easy) in the same sentence. They are organic in the sense that they are growing, but their list of genuinely organic foods is nowhere near comprehensive. Customers need to get more thoughtful and concerned about what they eat. That said, I do shop from time to time at Tesco and their genuine organic food is OK considering that it is usually sourced continents away from the their stores.