Published on: December 5, 2014by Kevin Coupe
It was just a year ago that Tesco sold its Fresh & Easy chain in the western US to Ron Burkle-controlled private equity firm Yucaipa Cos., essentially conceding that the American experiment was a failure. (Though Sir Terry Leahy, who was running Tesco when it decided the US venture was a winner, continues to believe that it would have worked given more time.)
Now, Fresh & Easy has announced that it will begin testing a new format in seven Las Vegas locations. Calling the format a "Smarter Market," Fresh & Easy says that the stores will feature "a new 'Fresh To Go' hot food bar … a much more open, modern feel and layout … and a revamped product selection with lower fixtures and a more abundant selection of fresh food."
The announcement also said that the new Fresh & Easy stores will feature artisan sandwiches, fire oven pizzas, an espresso bar, a homeopathic & natural-remedies section with health kiosk, and a natural baby section.
“We’ve evolved Fresh & Easy by constantly innovating to improve our stores and our products,” said Mike Evans, Fresh & Easy Vice President of Marketing, in a prepared statement. “The company has been reinvigorated and we are now using Las Vegas as a test market to implement even more new ideas and concepts. As with all the changes we have made, we are going to constantly evaluate and fine-tune our ideas to bring our customers something exciting and new.”
For some reason, this announcement made me smile. I'm glad that the Fresh & Easy concept is getting another chance (though it still remains for the brand to convince people to allow it to make a second first impression).
One of the problems with the Tesco version of Fresh & Easy was that it never seemed very evolved.
Like I said, I hope that the new evolution works out.
It'd be an Eye-Opener.
- KC's View: