Quoted – Fresh Easy presses on with plans for Valley – Fresno Bee

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Fresh & Easy presses on with plans for Valley

A British company that dreams of changing the way Americans shop for groceries says its plans for the Valley are back on track after a recession-driven delay.

Tesco, a giant grocery and retail chain often compared to Walmart, says it will open six of its small-scale Fresh & Easy grocery stores in the region by the end of February. They are among 12 stores the company expects to eventually open in Fresno, Reedley and Lemoore.

Some analysts have watched Fresh & Easy’s expansion plans with skepticism. The delayed openings and doubts over whether the stores are meeting their sales goals have left them waiting to see how the newcomer performs.

“That market is pretty finicky,” said Scott Testa, a professor who follows the retail business at Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “They have to bring their A game.”

Established U.S. competitors are not likely to sit still as Tesco expands, Testa said.

“You’re going to have companies like [Vons owner] Safeway that really know the market come out with a similar format,” he said.

Safeway is testing a small-scale store in Long Beach and San Jose called The Market, and Walmart is testing its small “community grocery” Marketside stores in Arizona.

Selling its Fresh & Easy brand and other products created specifically for the chain helps to keep costs down, Wonnacott said. The company also designed its stores and supply system from scratch, allowing it to build in efficiencies that other chains don’t have.

The emphasis on prepared foods also will help the company’s bottom line, Testa said.

“The profit margins are … really good compared to traditional foods,” he said.

Fresh & Easy’s everyday prices aren’t as low as other supermarkets or Walmart Supercenter food prices, said Prevor, who is based in Boca Raton, Fla., but has visited and studied Fresh & Easy stores.

But the chain has made up for that by offering steep discounts on sale items that often beat other retailers, he said.

How the stores perform in California will be a test for the future of the company, Testa said. Many retailers like to see how they do in the state before expanding east, he said.

“I think they have dreams of bigger and better things,” he said.


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Quoted – What is your Supermarket IQ? – Everyday with Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray Mag
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Rachael Ray and I go shopping in the supermarket. . .

Whether you think you’re a grocery shopping whiz or you feel overwhelmed just pulling into the parking lot there has never been a more important time to know your way around the aisles.

1. Where can you find the cheapest products on supermarket shelves?

Brands pay to display their wares at eye level and at the end of each aisle because this can increase sales by an estimated 15-20 percent. “These brands can afford the slotting fees, as they tend to be pricier, “says Dr. Scott Testa Beware of tie-in sale tricks in these areas: On-sale tortilla chips will be placed alongside regular-priced jarred salsa.

2.  Grabbing nonfood items like mouthwash and toilet paper at the supermarket may be convenient, but it’ll cost you. Thes items are priced 20 to 40 percent more than they are at national superstores. ‘Big companies like Wal-Mart buy large quantities so they get better deals and can charge less compared to a regional supermarket that buys less and pays more per unit,” explains Testa.  Since it’s a pain to make an extra trip just for toilet paper, buy thes goods at the supermarket only when they are on sale.

Rachael Ray Magazine

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Quoted – Convenience Store News – Circle K – Supersized!

Circle K Stores, Inc.
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Quoted – Convenience Store News – http://www.csnews.com/csn/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003946852

Scott Testa, marketing professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia: “What’s happening is these mini-marts or c-stores are starting to fill in those gaps that are left by those grocery stores that are also getting larger. It’s the traditional-grocery-store concept that is actually getting larger, and the mini-marts are growing into that kind of void that is left by these supermarkets. It seems like everything is getting larger.”

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