A spokesman says plans still call for a fall launch for Fresh & Easy, adding that which stores will open first--those in Southern California, Phoenix, or, now, Las Vegas--is not being disclosed.
The company also revealed the exterior prototype of the stores, which will be roughly 10,000 square feet, "intentionally smaller than the usual supermarket in order to give customers a faster, easier shopping experience." The exteriors will be a spring-like green (think asparagus) with enormous windows in the store's front.
The company says it chose the Las Vegas area, consistently one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, for its strong potential as an expanding market. "The Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market format is designed to draw customers back to their local neighborhoods by offering high-quality, fresh and nutritious food at affordable prices," the company said in a release.
Retailers have been buzzing about the Tesco invasion since the British company--one of the three biggest retailers in the world-announced its plans to expand here. The Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market format, the company says, "is a result of extensive customer research in local U.S. markets combined with the learnings from Tesco's highly innovative Express format," a 1,000-unit chain that operates in seven countries.
The company is also making a splash with its environmental efforts, recently announcing that its 500,000-square-foot distribution center, currently under construction in Riverside, Calif. will have a $13 million solar panel roofing system, which the company says is the largest roof-mounted solar installation in California "and possibly the world."