Report: Fresh & Easy Expansion on Track
New York Tesco insists its U.S. expansion plans are on track amid growing speculation that the initial performance of its new Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market concept has fallen short of expectations, according to a report on Financial Times’ web site, FT.com.
There have been widespread anecdotal reports that Fresh & Easy’s stores have been failing to attract customers at the rate needed. However, Tesco said in a statement yesterday that the stores were “proving very popular.” It added: “What we are seeing is growing sales and growing customer numbers.”
Tesco is continuing to push ahead with its ambitious U.S. expansion plans, with another 150 locations expected to open during the coming year in its initial markets, according to the report.
The company is signing leases on additional store sites in Northern California, where it is also planning to open a second large distribution center outside Stockton.
CEA president urges auto industry innovation
DETROIT Citing a huge increase in auto-based technologies, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) president Gary Shapiro encouraged the auto industry to adopt a universal standard for car connectivity in a speech before the Detroit Economic Club.
Shapiro told automakers, “the technology industry is your opportunity,” in a Feb. 25 speech and suggested the auto industry needs to work with electronics manufacturers to adopt an open standard for connectivity in cars.
“Just as Google, eBay and Amazon created new jobs and new businesses, the next mobile wave will create new jobs and economic growth,” said Shapiro. “The auto industry is squarely positioned to take advantage of this wave.”
Fiala nominated as ICSC chair
NEW YORK The International Council of Shopping Centers has announced that Mary Lou Fiala, president and coo of Regency Center, Jacksonville, Fla., has been nominated by the ICSC board of trustees to serve as the association’s chairman for the 2008 to 2009 term.
Fiala has been an active member of ICSC for 11 years and has served on ICSC’s board of trustees for the past five years. She is also only the third woman to chair ICSC in the association’s history.
“With experience on both the retailing and development side, Mary Lou’s background is ideal to serve as the head of our association in the coming year,” said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC’s president and ceo. “As the retail real estate industry continues to face challenges domestically and internationally, our members need to know how to embrace those challenges for all angles. Mary Lou broad knowledge base and vast industry knowledge makes her uniquely qualified to articulate and guide this process as head of the world’s largest retail real estate association. I, along with our board of trustees, look forward to working with her during her chairmanship.”
Fiala joined Regency Centers in 1998, bringing more than 18 years of retail and management experience to the company. In her role as president and coo, Ms. Fiala is responsible for the operational management of Regency’s retail centers nationwide. Prior to working with Regency, Fiala served as managing director of Security Capital Global Strategic Group.