Fresh & Easy: A ‘$2-Billion Flop’

Published in CSP Daily News

Tesco's failure in U.S. among biggest “in modern supermarket history”: Report

LOS ANGELES -- Five years in, Fresh & Easy markets are a flop, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The grocery chain, owned by Britain's Tesco, has failed to gain American shoppers' loyalty. Several missteps contributed to its estimated $2-billion loss, according to the report.

British supermarket giant Tesco thought it had the Yanks all figured out. Determined to crack the U.S. market, it dispatched executives to live with American families, peek into their refrigerators and trail them on trips to the grocery store. It boasted of revolutionizing how Americans shopped.

But slightly more than five years after it opened its first Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market in California, Tesco is considering selling the money-losing chain and leaving the United States altogether.

An email sent to shoppers recently acknowledged that the grocer doesn't know "if Tesco will continue to own the company." The 200-store operation in California, Arizona and Nevada represents an estimated $2-billion flop: a $1-billion investment on top of about $1 billion in cumulative annual losses, the newspaper reported.

"Tesco's failure will rank as one of the biggest among food retailers in modern supermarket history," Burt Flickinger III, managing director at retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group in New York, told the newspaper.

Click here to read the complete Los Angeles Times report.