Timing and space: why Tesco flopped in the U.S.A

The British giant simply chose the wrong markets at the worst time possible

When U.K. grocer Tesco announced earlier this month that it was closing its money-losing American division, Fresh & Easy, pundits swooped in to find the cause of death.

One popular reason cited was Fresh & Easy’s overly British-style retail cues–such as self-checkout and bagged produce–that never caught on with Americans.

But the fatal blow may have been caused by something much more simple, writes Euromonitor analyst Jared Koerten in an article: Fresh & Easy was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Tesco introduced Fresh & Easy to the U.S. in late 2007 across three states: California, Nevada and Arizona. At the time, all of these were booming.

However, by the following year, these markets would become the areas of the U.S. hardest hit by the Great Recession. California and Arizona in particular would trail most of the United States in grocery store growth for years–meaning Fresh & Easy was dead before it ever really got started.

Read the article here.

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