We tried Fresh and Easy for the first time tonight and thought we’d share our experience. So Trinity and I decided we’d try the new grocery store down the street tonight, Fresh and Easy. Our first observation as we walked through the door was that the store was much smaller than Ralph’s, Vons, Albertson’s, Stater Bros. or any other typical grocery store. However, it did appear to be much larger than a Trader Joe’s.
First isle was vegetables, and I made a critical mistake in the first 5 minutes of our arrival. I parked Trin and the cart across from the side of the isle I wanted to grab food from, but couldn’t get in because pushy people who could see I was trying to get in to get some bananas and apples, would stand directly in front of the produce. When my chance came to cut in, someone else would push their cart up, so I pretty much stood there for awhile then went back to the cart and started at the beginning of the perpetual line. Organic apples were $2.50 for a bag of 4!
The isles were half the width of a conventional grocery store and there were many times during our visit that we found ourselves waiting or asking for people to let us through. The carts had nice cup holders on them, but with all the metal edges, Trinity somehow cut her finger and through a half-fit.
Half of the food in the store came with a Fresh and Easy logo and slightly higher prices. Every 3rd isle had a lower-priced item with a card that compared the price to Ralph’s, but most of the products were more expensive than a traditional grocery store. There wasn’t a large selection, but I could tell that they are trying to present themselves as a tier one provider by how they promoted wine at the end of the isles and healthier foods.
I don’t smoke, but I noticed that they didn’t sell cigarettes. There was plenty of booze, though we didn’t grab any this trip.
The checkout process was weird, there were no checkers. Since I was new to self-checkout I started to freak out. The plastic bags wouldn’t open, some items had the UCP ripped off. Fortunately a lady who worked there came by and helped us though the checkout process.
Overall, we felt the prices were to high, the selection to low, and the environment and row width needing improvement. Nice save by the checkout-help person who did stellar job from a customer support perspective.
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