REAL ESTATE

Tesco set to sell or close all Fresh & Easy stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

London — Tesco CEO Philip Clarke announced Wednesday that the British supermarket retailer will likely sell or close its entire U.S. presence, which means that 199 Fresh & Easy stores could be shuttered or sold off.

According to multiple reports, Tesco is close to making the decision after five unprofitable years in the U.S. The retailer launched the concept in 2007, confident there was a niche for a grocery store with fresh food offerings formatted in a unique footprint that was smaller than a typical supermarket but larger than a c-store.

"It’s likely, but not certain, that our presence in America will come to an end," Philip Clarke, CEO, said. "This is a very major change for the business." Clarke said the U.S. exit would allow the company to refocus on its global portfolio.

Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason has resigned the company after 30 years; Mason is the son-in-law of former Tesco CEO Ian MacLaurin.

Tesco – the world’s No. 3 retailer – said it has appointed investment bank Greenhill & Co. to conduct a strategic review of the Fresh & Easy chain that could lead to the sale or closure of the near-200 stores.

Tesco, which trails France’s Carrefour and U.S. leader Wal-Mart by annual sales, said it had had a number of approaches from parties interested in acquiring either all or part of Fresh & Easy, or in partnering with the firm.

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Candy merchants get sweet reward

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, DC — Merchants at CVS, Smart & Final and Meijer have been named recipients of the 2013 Confectionery Leadership Awards by the National Confectioners Association.

The awards celebrate contributions made by recipients through their effective business collaboration, category management best practices and innovations in merchandising confectionery products in-store. This year’s recipients include Julie Bischoff, senior category manager at Smart & Final; Kimberley Felice-Dooley, senior category manager at CVS Caremark and AJ Jesswanin, category merchant for candy and commercial bakery at Meijer.

“This award program was designed to acknowledge those trade customers who serve as role models for other retailers and wholesalers,” says NCA president Larry Graham. “It recognizes individuals who use their experience to encourage visionary thinking and to drive the entire confectionery category forward.”

NCA, in collaboration with Candy & Snack TODAY magazine, created the awards program in 2011 to recognize and honor the confectionery industry’s best and most innovative category champions and leaders. The program allows NCA manufacturers and brokers to recognize these outstanding retailers and wholesalers in the confectionery community for their effective customer marketing, shopper-driven shelving practices and promotion of new items.

Bischoff, Felice-Dooley and Jesswani are scheduled to receive their awards in Miami at NCA’s annual State of the Industry Conference on February 25, 2013.

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Pitney Bowes offers e-commerce solutions to global online shopping

BY CSA STAFF

STAMFORD, Conn. — Pitney Bowes is helping high-end leathergoods retailer Dooney & Bourke extend its reach in the global online market.

Dooney & Bourke will use Pitney Bowes’s e-commerce software and international shipping services to offer international buyers the ability to receive a guaranteed, fully-landed cost quote that includes importation fees during the online checkout process. Displaying fully-landed costs upfront helps ensure there are no surprises for buyers with additional fees at the time of delivery.

“Every year the Internet continues to fuel new growth opportunities for high-end retail brands around the world,” said Craig Reed, VP, global E-commerce for Pitney Bowes.

“The timing was ideal for us to implement technology from Pitney Bowes to streamline and enhance our global online shopping experience for buyers just in time for our 12 Days of Dooney holiday sale,” said David Burbine, web director, Dooney & Bourke. “We anticipate that this will help our brand reach the hands of more international consumers and create a positive buying experience.”

Pitney Bowes offers a comprehensive suite of e-commerce solutions for international sales. The company’s Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions help leading retailers sell to international customers, reduce the challenges associated with international e-commerce and grow their business. The Pitney Bowes e-commerce services suite offers an array of API-driven web services to facilitate cross-border sales to 90 countries. Through one integration, retailers can access services including duty and tax calculation, fully landed and guaranteed costs at checkout, customs and brokerage management, import and export management, optimized global shipping, international address validation, denied parties screening and parcel protection.

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