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Fresh and Easy – Las Vegas

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

When you think of Las Vegas, you think of bright lights, glitz, glamor and a bit of excess. That was definitely not the case when I walked into my first Fresh andamp; Easy store. But I have to say it was quite re”fresh”ing and definitely easy to navigate! So I guess the store lived up to its name. Picking up on a post from September 2007 about some of the factors that will make this a success in the US, we offer some observations from this particular visit:

– Key differentiation strategies appear to be (in no particular order): sustainability, freshness/healthy food, ease of shopping andamp; everyday low pricing (no loyalty cards or coupons). You definitely saw all of these delivered on, even before you entered the store (i.e. front row parking for hybrid cars and even golf carts. Yes, golf carts. We were in Vegas after all!)

– Limited space and lots of private label (50% of their inventory), which will make large consumer packaged goods manufacturers a bit nervous. Will other grocers follow suit?

– There was no POP or promotions; packaging is the primary marketing tool for any brands allowed in.

They are definitely capitalizing on a trend that Iconoculture have identified – that of “grocery-getters” with whom one-stop shopping is the elusive holy grail. Shoppers are starting to scrimp more than splurge (less eating out) and are time starved. Tesco’s answer: pre-made meals at a great value.

Shoppers are also becoming choice fatigued and want their choices edited. Tesco once again answers by only carrying private label and just the category brand leaders. (One of the success factors of Tesco’s small format stores in the UK).

And lastly, people are not cooking as much but are more sophisticated about eating. Tesco once again provides a solution by offering fresh, organic healthy options that are quick and easy.

After visiting 4 of the 5 stores, it was very apparent that EVERY store followed the exact same format and delivered a consistent message, not typically what you see from other grocery retailers. And I have to say that the best part of the store visit was when one of the employees gave the “ladies” each a bouquet of flowers (for free!). After all, they have a strict freshness policy and I guess these flowers were past their 3 day shelf life. Regardless, it made my day!

– Contributed by Tina Cline

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