Is news about Fresh & Easy ever good? The Los Angeles Times reports today that the chain of supermarkets "is bleeding red ink" after parent company Tesco announced they expect a $259 million loss this year for the American division (about equal to last year's losses). Fresh & Easy's model is based on opening lots of small neighborhood markets; they have 70 stores in Southern California and Tesco at least partially blames the coming loss on its concentration in bad economies in California, Nevada, and Arizona. The LAT quotes one retail consultant who thinks the company should keep opening stores and try to own the small grocery store space, and another who thinks the store's gone totally off the rails: "You could not do much worse unless you did it on purpose." But maybe Fresh & Easy is finally starting to get the U.S. market: in response to customer requests, the chain is "adding cereal and pet food choices and offering larger package sizes for families."
· Fresh & Easy is expected to lose $259 million in fiscal year [LAT]
· Supermarket Roundabout: Is Fresh & Easy a Fiasco? [Curbed LA]