Heating Up The C-store

UK-based grocer Tesco is looking to revamp its Fresh & Easy stores on the West Coast in hopes of fostering a "warmer" shopping environment as it readies for more openings, Retail Week reported.

The company said its 61 Fresh & Easy stores in Nevada, Arizona and California will be given more color and signage, mainly in response to feedback it received from customers.

Tesco’s corporate and legal affairs director, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, said consumers’ reaction to Fresh & Easy has been "very strong" and confirmed the shop improvements, while adding, "We’ve been working on brighter stores, better ranging, signage – the sort of things we always do when we move into a new market."

Tesco opened its first Fresh & Easy store in November 2007, but paused its expansion in April to assess the format. As part of the retooling, which will be completed by July, more signage will be added to its popular products, the company told Retail Week.

A Tesco spokesman said the tweaked design will maintain its clean look and feel, and the changes should help shoppers "dash in and find the milk or whatever other products they want to find quickly and easily.”

The Fresh & Easy stores also added 250 more products to its private-label line, including new ready meals and juices. The stores also recently began accepting American Express cards.

Tesco will open a store at Manhattan Beach, Calif., on July 2, and it says it will remain committed to having a total of 200 stores in the U.S. by the end of this year.

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