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LONDON -- Tesco's U.S. venture looks a little green -- literally and figuratively -- as it recently revealed a green theme for its Fresh & Easy logo and environmentally "green" plans for solar panels on the roof of its distribution center in Riverside, Calif.
The logo features shades of green and an apple combined with a clock, according to reports in the Financial Times. The clock face emphasizes convenience, while a green apple stem reinforces its focus on fresh meals and produce to time-pressed consumers. The time indicated on the clock -- 4:05 -- is a nod to consumers on their way home from work, looking for items to complete that night's meal. The logo's trademark documents were recently filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the report stated.
The brand for its U.S. stores -- and its private label goods and prepared foods -- will be "fresh & easy," a departure from its strategies in other markets such as Thailand and Malaysia, where it used the Tesco name to build the brand. The large, clean, lowercase letters stress simplicity -- an overall message for the brand, the report stated.
"Whatever name they chose, they would have been building a brand from scratch in the U.S." Darrell Rigby, senior retail partner for consultants Bain & Co., told the Financial Times. "The Tesco brand really doesn't mean much to U.S. consumers."
The green color scheme is also a divergence from the red, white and blue colors associated with the Tesco brand overseas, which was created in 1924 as a combination of founder Jack Cohen and TE Stockwell, his tea supplier, the Times reported.
Published reports indicate that the company stated stores will be recognized as "a Fresh & Easy place to shop" where "we keep things simple."
The Fresh & Easy name "is a direct and clear and goes right to the end benefit: that it's easy and it is fresh, and that is the right message for the shopper," said Allen Adamson, of brand consultant Landor Associates.
However, the clock image could be improved. "After all, I might want fresh and easy at 10 in the morning," he added.
Tesco is also going environmentally green at its Riverside, Calif.-based distribution center, where it has plans to build a $13 million roof-top solar panel installation. Los Angeles-based Solar Integrated Technologies snagged the deal, which it claimed is the world's largest roof-top installation, according to a Reuters report.
"Our BIPV roofing system will ... provide a fifth of the depot's power supply, and save 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year," said Solar Integrated chief executive R. Randall MacEwen. "We believe this will be the largest roof-mounted solar installation in the world."
The plan is a part of the company's pledge to set an example worldwide by spending £500 million, or $987 million USD, to cut prices on energy-efficient products and reduce pollution, the report stated. The plans calls for halving the price of energy-efficient light bulbs at its stores, increasing the amount of biofuels at its gas stations, diminishing its dependence on air freight to less than 1 percent of products and installing additional wind turbines on the top of stores' roofs, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The company also planned to label each product it sells with a "carbon footprint" -- the amount of carbon dioxide generated during the item's production and distribution -- to help consumers choose environmentally friendly products.
The plan was announced by Terry Leahy, Tesco's CEO, during a speech on climate change where he vowed to lead a "revolution in sustainability."