retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Hartman Group, in its HartBeat newsletter, has an excellent analysis of why Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets have been such a disappointment, doing a consumer-oriented analysis of why the company's American foray has failed to live up to expectations.

Among its conclusions:

• While shoppers were primed for a new kind of shopping experience, the actual stores left them "underwhelmed and uninspired with no emotional attachment or reason to ever return."

• Fresh & Easy, especially when compared with competitors such as Trader Joe's, "is out of touch with changes occurring in food culture and is unable to translate this knowledge into compelling products and services or a seductive shopping experience that elicits return trips."

• While Fresh & Easy promises a specific value proposition - a store and products that were both fresh and easy - it has lived up to neither. "To most consumers," the analysis suggests, "plastic-wrapped produce is not all that fresh. And it is certainly not a testament to food celebration or an invitation to a culinary discovery."

You can read the entire newsletter here.
KC's View:
Great analysis. Reading it makes me think that the only way Tesco is able to sell Fresh & Easy will be for the real estate ... because the stores, as they are now constituted, may be relatively worthless.