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Fresh & Easy Calling It Quits?

British owned supermarket says chain may be up for sale

By Consumer Bob
|  Saturday, Dec 8, 2012  |  Updated 9:35 AM PDT
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Consumer Bob talks about the British-owned supermarket chain Fresh and Easy may soon go out of business.

Consumer Bob talks about the British-owned supermarket chain Fresh and Easy may soon go out of business.

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Did the British underestimate the American grocery shopper? 

After a five year attempt to win over shoppers, the British supermarket giant Tesco says it may sell its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores.

Since 2007, Tesco has opened nearly 200 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.

San Diego State marketing professor George Belch says Tesco couldn't find a niche in the United States competitive supermarket business.

"There is nothing that Fresh & Easy is really doing that I think clearly separated them from their competitors," said Belch. 

He says one of the problems may be that Fresh & Easy wasn't able to understand West Coast shoppers.

"It's probably hard as a foreign competitor to really understand all the subtleties and nuances of the American consumer," Belch said. 

Supermarket owner Dirk Stump had a Fresh & Easy open up nearly his family owned grocery store.

"There's only so much of the pie and everyone takes a little slice," said Stump, "I know almost exactly how much they took from me when they opened up."

Tesco officials already closed 12 Fresh & Easy stores earlier in the year. Now they say they will most  likely sell their stores and end their presence in America.

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