Fresh & Easy Opens 100th Store on One Year Anniversary

Fresh & Easy Opens 100th Store on One Year Anniversary

Grocer startup cites milestones one year after opening first store


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FULLERTON, Calif., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market today opened its 100th store only one year after launching its business on the West Coast of the United States. Elected officials, hundreds of customers and neighbors in Fullerton, California joined Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason to mark the event. Just one year after officially opening its first store in the Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, the company now operates 100 stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081112/AQW113)

At the 100th store opening, Mason pointed toward a few ways the retail startup is starting to change the way Americans shop.

Tim Mason, CEO Fresh & Easy: “We would like to thank our neighbors and customers for a fantastic first year. We’ve built a unique business from the ground up by listening to what Americans want in a grocery market. They told us they wanted fresh, quality foods at prices they could afford. They told us they wanted to get the groceries and staples they need in one easy-to-shop location. And, they told us they wanted stores close to where they live. One year and 100 stores later, the response from customers to our offer has surpassed our expectations. Both internal and independent research regularly confirms customers like the quality and prices of our food, as well as the convenient locations of our stores.”

Mason referenced the downturn in the US economy and said the Fresh & Easy format is well-suited for cost-conscious consumers. “We’ve reintroduced the quality and service of a neighborhood market but at budget prices that everyone can afford.”

Mason also cited many of Fresh & Easy’s accomplishments in the first year.

STORES

Fresh & Easy has opened 26 stores in Phoenix; 25 in Las Vegas; and 49 in Southern California. The company continues to secure more locations each week and has secured a strong pipeline of stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. The company has also announced plans to open stores in Northern California.

PRODUCTS

Fresh & Easy’s kitchen products have been especially well received with over 10 million products produced in the company’s first year. The world-class kitchen and distribution center in Riverside, California serves all the company’s stores. Because of the popularity of the kitchen products, Fresh & Easy’s Head Chef Mike Ainslie has introduced over 100 additional products since the first store opening. All Fresh & Easy products are made with no added trans fats, no artificial flavors or colors and use preservatives only when absolutely necessary.

Some customer favorites include Beef Lasagna, Breakfast Burrito, Lemon Cilantro Hummus, Chicken Pasta Alfredo, Macaroni & Cheese and medal-winning Big Kahuna Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Wine.

PEOPLE

Each Fresh & Easy store employs about 20 to 30 employees, and the company hires from local neighborhoods that surround each store. The company now employs over 3,000 people in stores, at its distribution center, and in its head office. More than 200 people have been promoted from customer assistant positions into management and more promotion opportunities are available with every store the company opens.

The company’s employee pay and benefits package has been well received. Fresh & Easy provides the opportunity for all employees to work at least 20 hours, which entitles them to comprehensive healthcare and competitive benefits including dental, medical, vision and prescription coverage with the company paying at least 75% of the cost.

Entry-level positions pay well over the minimum wage, starting at $10 an hour in California, with similarly competitive salaries in other states, and a potential quarterly bonus of up to 10% on top. All employees are eligible for 401(k) with company match. The company receives thousands of applications each week for stores opening.

NEIGHBORHOODS

Fresh & Easy works hard to be a good neighbor. The company takes care to always keep store parking lots and backyards clean and tidy. Every time Fresh & Easy opens a new store, the store makes a $1,000 donation to a local group based on suggestions from the neighborhood. This year, Fresh & Easy has contributed more than $100,000 to local neighborhood causes. The company has regional food bank partnerships and each store has a monthly budget for product donations.

Fresh & Easy has joined the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) volume certification program to demonstrate its commitment to build green. The company recycles or reuses all its shipping and display materials and uses environmentally-friendly trailers to transport food. The company also invested in one of California’s largest solar roof installations (500,000 sq. ft.) on its distribution center, which currently produces over 75% of the center’s energy.

More information regarding Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market can be found at http://www.freshandeasy.com.

SOURCE Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market

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Fresh & Easy Opens 100th Store on One Year Anniversary