U.K. grocery powerhouse Tesco PLC has applied for 14 liquor licenses across the Valley so far this month, indicating its imminent arrival in the Phoenix metro area, reported The Business Journal of Phoenix.Several sites have also been chosen in Orange County, California, with the sites reported to be around 14,000 square feet.
As has been widely reported, the secretive retailer plans to expand into the United States early next year, including 50 stores in the Valley.
As might be expected, competitors are nervous:
Rob Johnson, a spokesman with Chandler-based Bashas’ Supermarkets, described Tesco’s challenge to local competitors in one word: “formidable.”
Johnson described Tesco’s likely challenge to local companies like Safeway, Fry’s and Bashas’ as a knock-down, dragout fight for customers.
“There’s no way around it,” he added. “(It’s) really a crowded market. There’s either going to be a long drawn out staredown (or) something will have to give. And usually at the end of the staredown, somebody does give.”