Convenience stores have long been a place to pick up beer and pork rinds. Now Tesco has launched a $2 billion, five-year plan to change that. The British retailing giant just opened the first gourmet mini-supermarket in Hemet, CA. Dozens more of these Fresh & Easys are scheduled to open over the next three months throughout California and the Southwest. Analysts think Tesco could grow their ranks to more than 1,000 in the next five years.
So how will this British invasion conquer a retailing niche that even Wal-Mart couldn't crack?
A nondescript strip mall off Hemet's main drag is the insertion point. Rather than hot dogs spinning beneath a heat lamp, bags of pomegranates, rose-gold apples, and watercress are the first things you see when entering through the door. Next in prominence are prepared foods, including Japanese shrimp dumplings, Mexican-style burritos, and Indian samosas. The food for sale is a combination of Fresh & Easy's store brands and national and regional ones. The vibe, given the eight aisles and the kinds of items for sale, is much more akin to Trader Joe's than to either a true convenience store or a full-size supermarket.
Source: Fortune, http://money.cnn.com
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