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    Fresh & Easy Gets ‘Smarter’ With New Concept

    Smarter Market features hot food and self-serve beverage bars.

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Fresh & Easy stores are getting a new look and taking on a new name as part of the ongoing effort to reinvigorate the brand following its acquisition by The Yucaipa Cos. last year.

    El Segundo-based Fresh & Easy, operator of 167 stores in Arizona, California and Nevada, announced the launch of its Smarter Market store concept. Using many of its Las Vegas stores as a test, Fresh & Easy said it’s unveiling its innovative take on creating modern convenience.

    Boasting a more open, modern layout and revamped product selection, Fresh & Easy's Smarter Market concept features a "Fresh To Go" hot food bar, offering sandwiches, fire-oven pizzas and hot soups. The new format also includes a coffee, expresso and tea bar; smoothie machine; self-serve beverage bar; and natural baby section.

    “We’ve evolved Fresh & Easy by constantly innovating to improve our stores and our products,” said Mike Evans, Fresh & Easy’s vice president of marketing. “The company has been reinvigorated and we are now using Las Vegas as a test market to implement even more new ideas and concepts."

    The first new-look Fresh & Easy debuted two weeks ago. Seven more stores will host their grand reopenings as Smarter Market stores this weekend.

    A Fresh & Easy spokesperson told Progressive Grocer, a sister publication of Convenience Store News, that a total of 17 stores will be transitioned to the new banner by the end of December, yet no timeframe has been set for further expansion to other markets.

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