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Going To The Store: Why Are Grocery Stores Struggling In Las Vegas?

fresh_and_easy.jpg

Associated Press

Why are so many grocery stores struggling in the Las Vegas Valley.

Another struggling western grocery chain will close all stores in Nevada, California and Arizona.

Fresh & Easy announced last week that it was starting to close 97 stores, but it’s hoping a buyer will come to the rescue.

This comes less than a month after grocery chain Haggens announcement that it was closing stores in Nevada, Arizona and California.

Supermarket analysist David Livingstone told KNPR's State of Nevada that it is really a coincidence that both chains pulled out of the Southwest within months of each other. He said it is not a reflection of the area being a difficult place to set up shop. 

"I don't think it is any more difficult than any other part of the country," Livingstone said. "All parts of the country face similar types of competition and similar types of situation."

He blames the demise of Fresh & Easy on poor planning by the parent company Tesco PLC, which is based in England. 

"Fresh & Easy was pretty much dead on arrival," he said. "They never got off the ground. They opened stores, but they obviously never had the right kind of format."

The 'format' the chain promised was Whole Foods type store with Wal-Mart pricing, but Livingstone said they did not deliver on either.

He also said the company did not do a good job picking locations. According to Livingstone, the company was opening stores so fast it didn't choose good locations, but was taking any location. 

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He also said they lacked any "meaningful research."

 

Guests

David Livingstone, supermarket analyst

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