BOCA RATON, Fla. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets have not yet come close to achieving the sales levels Tesco officials were originally hoping for, according to an industry consultant here. Speaking yesterday with investors in the U.S. and the United Kingdom in a conference call sponsored by New York-based Citigroup, Jim Prevor said the 52 Fresh & Easy stores that have opened since November are averaging weekly sales volumes of $50,000 to $60,000, or about $5 a square foot — below the goal of $200,000 a week and $14-$22 in sales per square foot the company had projected. A spokesman for Fresh & Easy declined comment when contacted by SN. Prevor said the volume estimates are based on discussions with competitors, vendors, industry observers and Fresh & Easy store managers, "who all confirm each other." Prevor also said Fresh & Easy is paying rent on stores in the Bay Area in Northern California after deciding to open them early in 2009 instead of later this year as originally planned. The Tesco spokesman told SN the company never intended to move into the Bay Area until 2009. In other comments, Prevor said Fresh & Easy is not laying off employees but is not replacing any who leave. The company spokesman declined comment on that assertion.
Read More of Today's Headlines