Fresh & Easy Observations: Surprising Selection

For Patti Edwards, a Seattle-based analyst with Wentworth, Hauser & Violich, San Francisco, visiting a Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market store in Las Vegas was a positive experience. I liked the small, compact format, she told SN, and there are great sight lines. With low-profile shelving, you can see across the entire store, and that creates a positive, non-warehouse atmosphere. And the stores don't

For Patti Edwards, a Seattle-based analyst with Wentworth, Hauser & Violich, San Francisco, visiting a Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market store in Las Vegas was a positive experience.

“I liked the small, compact format,” she told SN, “and there are great sight lines. With low-profile shelving, you can see across the entire store, and that creates a positive, non-warehouse atmosphere.

“And the stores don't carry just a basic offering of milk, bread and eggs — there are some surprises thrown in.

“For instance, while you can get basic cheddar or [Monterey] Jack cheese, Fresh & Easy throws in a couple of specialty cheeses from Europe as well, plus things like fig paste, so you can put together very elegant dinners or come up with very nice hors d'oeuvres shopping there. It's not all just generic foods.”

Edwards said she also likes the crates the stores use for produce, “because they require less handling and make it easier to restock the shelves. And with fewer SKUs, it's easier for consumers to choose, which can be a good thing in a small neighborhood market.”

Edwards said she was also impressed by the breadth of selection in the frozen food section. “The stores have a combination of basic and gourmet items, all within a very small case. And they don't feel bigger than the average 7-Eleven, which is comforting.”