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Supermarket Roundabout: Is Fresh & Easy a Fiasco?

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[Is anybody shopping at Fresh & Easy?]

Following-up on the report last week of potential troubles with the Fresh & Easy stores that have opened to lukewarm reviews, Tesco officials have gone on the offensive to counter the negative press. But it keeps coming. From Jonathan Birchall at the Financial Times:

"There have been widespread anecdotal reports in the US that the small neighbourhood groceries... have been failing to attract customers at the rate needed. In December, Jack Brown, chief executive of Stater Brothers, a supermarket chain in southern California, said his stores had seen "almost no impact" from the first 20 Tesco stores that opened in his stores' territory. The FT wasn't the only news outlet to react."
From the Times Online:

Yesterday Mike Dennis, a retail analyst for Piper Jaffray, said that Tesco’s entire business concept in the US was not as “robust as thought” and he raised doubts that the group’s “Every Day Low Price” products were not priced low enough to attract Americans, who are suffering from rising fuel and energy costs and the worst housing slump for 21 years. Yes. The housing slump is to blame for F&E's poor performance. The British press is out for blood. Sadly, there was no hilariously-headlined mention of Tesco in The Sun tabloid, just a story about a man's penis being attacked.
· Tesco dismisses reports of slow US trading [FT.com]
· Tesco under fire on both sides of Atlantic [Time Online]