Herb Sorenson, global scientific director of shopper insights for TNS North America, Chicago, said Tesco's U.S. stores are like “a Trader Joe's with Wal-Mart prices. They look very functional, with the focus clearly on shoppers.
“The stores are in very spiffy condition, and when the customer walks in, it's clear these are cut-price supermarkets, not expanded convenience stores.”
Sorenson said he likes the size of the shopping carts, which are about one-third that of a normal supermarket basket, “so it's clear Tesco is not expecting people to buy truckloads of merchandise. Apparently it is going after frequent trips with smaller baskets, and since half of all supermarket trips encompass five or fewer items, Tesco is in the sweet spot in terms of cart size.”
Based on extensive studies, Sorenson said most successful stores force customers to enter on the right and shop the store in a counterclockwise fashion, whereas most of the nine Fresh & Easy stores he visited direct customers to enter on the left and shop in a clockwise pattern, “which is a horrible idea that goes against the grain,” he indicated.
“While right-entry stores match shoppers' natural tendency to turn right when they enter and move counterclockwise, left-entry stores have fewer shoppers, fewer checkstands open, fewer cars in the parking lot and a stronger flow from back to front as people leave the store.”