The Metroblogging Los Angeles blog, a Southern California-based news and information publication, is reporting that Tesco has quietly started to hold "soft openings" at a few of its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.
A soft retail store opening in one in which the retailer doesn't publicize the store's opening. It's a trail opening before the store's actual official grand opening. A soft opening allows a retailer to test operations and fine tune them before the store officially opens.
Metroblogging Los Angeles said today it has a "mole" inside Tesco's Southern California Fresh & Easy operations who says the store in Hemet, in Southern California's desert region, opened almost 2 weeks ago "softly." We obtained the phone number to the Hemet Fresh & Easy and have placed a few calls to the store. However, we get a ringing phone but thus far nobody has answered it. The source also told Metroblogging Los Angeles,the Hemet store is exceeding sales expectations since the soft opening nearly two weeks ago. We will continue our efforts to confirm that the store is actually open.
The blog quotes this same source as telling them there will be five more soft openings in the next few days: "At least one for certain in Los Angeles proper and one each in Arizona and Nevada," according to the source. The potential exists for the number of stores having soft openings in the next few days to go from the five to as many as ten, according to Metroblogging Los Angeles' source.
The first six Fresh & Easy stores set to officially open are all in Southern California, in the cities of Los Angeles, Anaheim, West Covina, Arcadia, Upland and Hemet, the store the source says had a "soft opening" almost two weeks ago.
(We've discovered and confirmed with Tesco the specific locations of four of these six stores, and Tesco has announced one store's location (the Upland store) on its Website. If you want to know those specific store addresses just search "Fresh & Easy" in the search box at the top of our blog.)
We're working on confirming the "soft openings," and will update you on what we find as we have our own inside sources assisting us with our investigation. Since the first six stores open in nine days it wouldn't be unusual for such early "soft openings" to occur.
The Hemet, California Fresh & Easy Neighborhood market is located at 1709 West Florida Avenue. If you are nearby, check it out and let us know if the store is open.