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LONDON -- Tesco's Fresh & Easy concept in the U.S. is the most innovative supermarket/neighborhood market concept, according to Planet Retail, a global firm that offers "e-intelligence on global retailing." Planet Retail yesterday named the Tesco division as one of the winners of its Innovation Awards, a global list that includes concepts from a variety of industries, including supermarkets.
Planet Retail praised Tesco's new format for being "unique for the U.S. market, with a strong emphasis on ready meals, many of which are prepared in Tesco's own kitchens. It has a carefully edited product range of around 3,500 SKUs, with a focus on fresh and healthy foods, at affordable prices. At around 50 percent, private label penetration is particularly high among U.S. grocers, with products backed by Tesco's guarantee that none of them contain added trans fats, artificial colors, or flavors, and have limited amounts of preservatives."
Other retail winners in the "Innovative New Concepts" category included:
-- Hypermarket & Superstore: Pick 'n Pay, South Africa: In September 2007, Pick 'n Pay opened its "new generation" hypermarket in the township of Soweto outside Johannesburg. As the anchor tenant in the township's first shopping mall, Pick 'n Pay has access to a new market of some one million residents. The store includes state-of-the-art delicatessen counters, fresh food, and other service sections.
-- Discount Store: Dia Market, Spain: In a drive to combine discount prices with convenience shopping, Carrefour has opened this new format trading under the Dia Market banner in Madrid. Operating from a sales area of less than 500 square meters in urban areas, the store offers fresh products (40 percent of the assortment), ready meals, impulse items, grocery staples, and magazines at low Dia prices.
-- Convenience/Forecourt Store: LAWSON Plus, Japan: Taking learnings from its LAWSON STORE 100 format and combining it with a typical neighborhood outlet, LAWSON has created an urban hybrid convenience store. It features an extended range of perishable foods including fruit and vegetables, sashimi, and prepared meals -- unique for the Japanese convenience store sector.
-- Drugstore: Reliance Wellness, India: The launch of Reliance Wellness marks a new phase in the development of pharmacies and drugstores in the evolving Indian market. Developed by Reliance Retail, the first store opened in Hyderabad earlier this year. It stocks more than 5,000 SKUs, spanning medicines to healthcare, comprising fitness equipment, allopathic, ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines, nutrition, skincare, personal products, books and magazines on health and yoga, and selected sports equipment. The store also includes an optical division, an eye testing centre, and provides advisory services on nutritional products and educational programmes on health.