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UNITED KINGDOM -- Tesco, the large U.K. based retailer that made a big splash when it opened its new Fresh & Easy chain in the U.S. a little over two years ago, is expanding its One Stop convenience chain in the U.K. In an interview with Fiona Briggs, editor of Insight Global Convenience Store Focus, One Stop CEO David Turner said the chain aims to be "best in neighborhood," offering value for money and fast and friendly service.
Tesco, the U.K.'s largest grocer and fourth largest global retailer, purchased One Stop from T&S Stores in 2003, and manages to keep the chain under the radar even while it is quietly expanding.
While the business is nowhere near the size it was when Tesco purchased it -- around 400 One Stop stores were converted to the Tesco Express format -- it is increasing its store numbers. In 2009, One Stop opened 15 new stores and is now a 517-strong convenience chain located throughout England and Wales.
And the chain plans to open between 20 and 25 stores per year over the next three years, according to Turner.
In addition to the new openings, forecourt stores at two Tesco superstore sites in have been converted to the One Stop format as a test. However, Turner shot down press reports of a national roll out of the One Stop fascia, calling such an expansion "premature."
In addition to expanding, One Stop has been updating its existing store base.
For more details on the company's expansion, operations and marketing strategies, visit GlobalCstoreFocus.com.
In other international news, Insight Research will be hosting its annual international convenience store and petroleum retail industry event in association with NACS, the Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing, in London this fall. This event is in its 12th year and was attended by retailers and supplier delegates from 20 countries in 2009. "Future of Convenience" brings the European industry together and offers convenience retailers and suppliers from around the world a unique look into best practices in the advanced European market.
International retailers and suppliers will have the option of joining U.K., Irish and French convenience and petroleum store visit programs Sept. 20, 21 and 24. Visits will include Tesco's first "Zero Carbon store," which opened in the U.K. recently and according to Tesco: 'costs 30 percent more to build, but uses 50 percent less energy, and with oil at $70 a barrel is a business case in itself.'
International retailers looking for a more in-depth information exchange will also have the option of spending tour days on "peer reviews." Sewell Group -- judged by the Sunday Times to be one of the top employers in the U.K. -- is one of the retailers participating in this new program.
London conference days: Sept. 23 and 24
Confirmed speakers so far include: Nigel Mills, CEO, Mills Group; Don Longo, editor-in-chief, Convenience Store News & Single Store Owner, Nielsen Business Media USA; Tom Fender, director, him!; and Joe Bona, president, CBX.
More details on the event can be found at GlobalCstoreFocus.com.
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