Will Fresh & Easy make it here?

April 10, 2008
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Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, the grocery chain owned by U.K.-based retailing giant Tesco, has put the brakes on the U.S. invasion it launched on the West Coast last year, but still claims it has designs on plastering the U.S. with thousands of its stores.

The stores are small, about 15,000 square feet, and theyâ??re conveniently plunked in neighborhoods in direct competition with giants including Wal-Mart.

Fresh & Easyâ??s concept of small and upscale is strong enough that Wal-Mart is opening small grocery stores in the southwest to try to find a way to counter the concept.

Now, though, The Times of London has reported that first-year sales in the initial stores are 70 percent below expectations. Tesco denies itâ??s struggling.

The grocery industry has been through years of competitive turmoil in the Indianapolis area.

What would happen in Fresh and Easy arrived here?
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  • I think if they arrived in smaller neighborhood markets such as the 16th and meridian area, downtown, near IUPUI, near 38th and Meridian, Broad Ripple area that they would be successful. I long for a place near me at 37th and meridian to where I can just walk to that isn't a Double 8 Food Crap Store or a CVS and that I don't have to make my entire trip to a real store on the bus a 3 hour adventure.
  • I've used neighborhood stores in London and NYC and they are so convenient. Something similar in Indy would be a great addition to the city. I don't know that we are urban enough to support something like this at the present time however. Maybe in another few years if the trend to downtown living continues. I live in the same neighborhood as Mark (waves) and would love something like this along Meridian below 38th St. The Goose is a great but not what I'd consider an everyday kind of place. It also benefits from being fairly unique in the Indy market.

    Fresh & Easy's model seems to be to place their stores in more suburban settings. Looking at their LA locations on Google Maps, all the street views were filled with strip malls and fast food places. I don't think it would work in an area like that. Why would you drive there, park, etc. to go to a small grocery when you can probably head a few miles (or less down the road) and stop at a full sized store or a Wal-Mart or Super Target or the like?
  • Good report...nice comments.

    You might find the blog Fresh & Easy Buzz of interest. It writes all about Tesco, Tesco's Fresh & Easy and related food and grocery business topics and companies.

    link: www.freshneasybuzz.blogspot.com

    Fresh & Easy to me has much going for it. BUt there also seem to be many problems. Some of the stores I've been to here in Southern California have very few people in them. Of course, that's been good news for me as a customer when I've shopped at them since I got in and out fast. But can't be great news for the company.

    The stores do have some great prices though. But it doesn't seem they advertise that fact much. Some of the prepared foods are good too, and priced reasonable.

    The meat and produce is bad in my opinion though. They need to redo those categories.
  • Is that blog something that company officials look at? Thats what I am curious to know if places like target or Whole Foods or Fresh and Easy ever look at some of the comments on reputable blog like this to get ideas on locations. Most site selection companies would not even consider putting a store in an area like 38th and meridian but that is the demographics and locales people are wanting smalle corner grocery stores. Just curious. Why don't we all who live in that area just pool some money and start our own store - coop. Andrea - you in?
    :)
  • What ever happened to Friendly Foods? And why aren't there stores like that around the downtown area? They used to have everything you'd need food-wise, plus your regular CVS-type fair (other than pharms).
    I used to go to the one at 49th and Penn as a kid... Sure do miss em!
  • Speaking of 49th and Penn, I know they were supposed to redo that corner cause the pharmacy was being removed. Are they building the structure to make it two or three stories? Will there be a grocery store - Cork's was too expensive and wasn't a real grcoery store? Just curoius if anything is happening at all.

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