March 4, 2009

Fresh & Easy not looking so good

As we reported about a year ago, Fresh and Easy opened with great fanfare in November 2007 but its parent company Tesco PLC is getting hammered in the market. Its stock price is down. Tesco is the U.K.’s biggest supermarket chain. Its share of grocery spending dropped to the lowest in three years last month as shoppers turned to Wal-Mart Stores. Tesco’s share of the UK market fell to 30.3 percent in the 12 weeks ended Feb. 22.

Of course the other problem is that Fresh and Easy is not going smoothly in the USA as it appears that the marketing gurus that conceived of the concept did not do their homework that well and made some big assumptions that are turning out to be wrong. This marketing article details the problems.

Of course Costco just opened at the mall (first ever in a mall setting) at the worst time in history. More on Costco here

We have noticed many more "red tag" specials at Pavillions and Vons lately, likely in response to Costco pressure and pressure by Safeway (which owns Vons and Pavillions) on name brand food suppliers to lower their prices. The Wall St. Journal did a recent article on this issue. This is also placing pressure on Fresh and Easy.

So we have a race to the bottom in retail, which includes food retailers. We have a long way to go before this over and its likely to get worse. The retail landscape may completely change by the time this "depression" is over. How Lakewood and its shoppers will fare is anyone's guess.

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | | Lakewood, CA
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