Wednesday, November 19, 2008

fresh & easy delivers value in a tough economy

The new fresh & easy stores will be a breath of fresh air in these tough ecomomic times. Great quality and variety -- not unlike what people rave about from Trader Joe's and Costco -- but at reasonable prices and located in areas that have been relatively underserved by the grocery world. I think Americans will initially be underwhelmed by the interior space and the lack of faux premium offerings. In time, they will discover that the quality is very top notch -- and the store is very easy to shop. It's about the size of a Trader Joe's but more the vibe of a Costco... no frills, big aisles, slightly industrial.

The biggest consumer promise they have made is that the shopping "experience" will be better because of customer service and the quality/value equation. I think the staff still needs a bit more training in order to teach new shoppers and help them through the check out. It's pretty much all self-check out and my last few visits were unassisted(no one even asked).

In these first months of operations, I really think they will need to step it up on customer service and reach out to the community to let them know that they exist... and WHY they exist.

WHY I CARE: I spent a couple of years in the trenches, helping develop the new fresh & easy Neighborhood Markets. The team from Tesco are amazing and should be given much of the credit for how the stores look and function. Simon Uwins is the marketing and brand leader, a Tesco veteran who spearheaded the design and development of the stores. I headed the team at Deutsch -- mainly working on packaging(over 2000 items), retail signage, uniforms, web site development, newsletters and the flyer. We also created documentary films, internal presentations and tried to help the "Americanize" the brand.

No comments:

Post a Comment