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Mar 31, 2008 12:15 PM

Fresh and Easy coming to Van Nuys

Saw this weekend that a Tesco will be going into the old funky Ralph's space on Sepulveda in Van Nuys . Anything is better than that old, icky Ralph's. But I would prefer a Albertson's, How's, Mitsuwa or something.

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  1. What exactly is Fresh & Easy? I noticed there is one up the street from the house I will be moving into next month in Arcadia and was wondering. Is it worth it?

    3 Replies
    1. re: WildSwede

      Fresh and Easy is the American Branch of the Brit supermarket giant, Tesco.

      1. re: WildSwede

        It's the illicit love child of a Trader Joe's and a Soviet "gastronom". Harsh, bright lighting; lots of prepared convenience foods with a great deal fewer unpronounceable ingredients and quick sell-by dates; self-checkout only; surprisingly good produce; terrible baked goods.

        It's not going to replace your Albertsons or Stater Bros. or Gelson's, but it's a decent stop. I never find myself needing anything that would propel me to that store rather than any of the other markets down here.

        To Diana -- it was in the OC Register today that Tesco are holding back on openings while they tweak the existing stores to make them more successful, so don't hold your breath.

      2. I drove by the site yesterday afternoon - looks like it might be awhile before it opens (apparently, they're still gutting the building)

        I've been to the one in Simi Valley (I live in Porter Ranch, so it's not that bad of a drive) Wasn't really all that impressed to tell you the truth. Do not like the fact that they add coloring to their seafood. Wonder how long they will really last out here.

        1. Fresh & Easy suspending opening of new US stores for 3 months.

          1 Reply
          1. re: monku

            Tesco's could be successful if they imported some of their successful features from Britain to here. Their distribution model of prepared foods and low store inventory is unlike anything here in the US and business analysts and myself thought a lot could be done with that. In the UK, you can buy good food and eat it and be on your way, also it's really convenient. They have like liquor store sizes to Ralph's size stores, the only thing is America is different from UK, especially Los Angeles. It's not like you get off the Tube and stop in at a Tesco's on your way to your destination. Here is a funny video I saw in London on a tv show that highlights how Tesco's is viewed there. I imagine they expected this kind of success. If you go into any Tesco, then it really does feel like going into a Soviet market staged for Western visitors. I was the sole customer with 8 employees once. For one thing, they could improve their sales by removing egg as a product of many of their "vegetarian" items. Vegetarians here in LA are more observant about things like that. Also, there is little there that you can buy and just eat immediately from their prepared foods. This is different from there. Also, British pre-made foods including pizzas, and many other items actually taste good when you just pop it in your oven or whatever, they far outrank ours. They also sell sandwiches and other goods there that are meant to be eaten without any heating or likewise. They need to provide more of that. They could actually also benefit from selling British goods that they do not have here but would appeal to our market. Lastly, there should be significant cost savings from their distribution model and you would think to get things going they would offer better discounts . . . Also, I think tv and radio advertising would help, I think they believe their own hype. I am glad that they did make good and open in Compton. I don't know why the LA Times and others pushed that so much, I mean Ralph's and the other big chains all promised to open more locations in underserved areas, and they have actually shrunk their floorspace . . . business is business . . .

          2. Although I love the Hollywood branch of F&E and still go weekly, business hasn't picked up and the general feeling (at least at my branch) is that the company is not doing well in California. I love their selection of meats, cheeses, prepared foods, breads and even produce but I just don't see the customer base of TJ or even Ralphs. If they close up here, it would be a shame.