... the 52 Fresh & Easy stores that have opened since November are averaging weekly sales volumes of $50,000 to $60,000, or about $5 a square foot — below the goal of $200,000 a week and $14-$22 in sales per square foot the company had projected. A spokesman for Fresh & Easy declined comment when contacted by SN. Prevor said the volume estimates are based on discussions with competitors, vendors, industry observers and Fresh & Easy store managers, "who all confirm each other."Nonetheless, they are still planning to open 18 stores in the SF area, although they may be delaying the opening a bit, and there's even a rumor they may come to Chicago, although I'm not sure I take it too seriously.
I doubt Tesco will be too greatly discouraged by a slow start. I can't imagine they came in for anything other than the long haul.
Update 2/28: Financial Times reports that Tesco is denying any problems:
Tesco said in a statement on Tuesday that the stores were “proving very popular”. It added: “What we are seeing is growing sales, growing customer numbers.”The FT report also quotes another analyst as saying the Fresh & Easy stores are short of goal, but this analyst's numbers are wildly different from the one quoted above:
He wrote in a note to clients that the 50 stores opened so far around Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix could be averaging sales of $170,000 a week, against what he said were planned initial sales of $200,000.$170k a week is certainly short of goal, but it's also a heck of a lot better than the $50k-$60k the other guy is claiming. Damages my faith in analysts, because one or both of these guys is way off.