Pausing for reath at fresh & easy (Tesco’s USA stores)
However, after opening our first 50, we planned to have a 3 month break from openings, and other than a couple more in Phoenix, we’re taking it (albeit, in our usual fashion, with 59 stores already open).
We’ve learnt a huge amount about running the operation, and talked to thousands of customers about what they like about fresh&easy, and where they’d like us to improve. So we’ve given ourselves a little bit of time to kick the tires, smooth out any wrinkles, and make some improvements that customers have asked for. Of course, improving the operation and the shopping trip is what we do every day.
But the next 3 months will allow us to accelerate this process, before we restart what’s been described as an opening program on steroids.
There have been some rumors in the blogosphere and regular press that the stores are not living up to expectations. Tesco denies this but it is hard to tell if this is typical public relations where disappointments are seen as something to deceive the public about, or the truth. Pausing to access and adjust makes all the sense in the world.
In fact it would seem to me to be the preferred method before 50 are in place. However I can see there might be reasons to expand rapidly too. I think if it were up to me I would try to PDSA with fewer stores first, and then expand but I don’t really know the business so…
It is a bit scary that the Fresh and Easy blog references Tony Robbins on continual improvement rather than Deming or Ohno or Womack or someone part of the lean thinking community.
Related: Lean Provision at Tesco – Tesco in the USA – What Innovation Means to Tesco – Lean Retailing – 10 Stocks for 10 Years Update
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