Blog: Will Fresh & Easy be next after Tesco's Japanese exit?
Dean Best | 31 August 2011
In the first significant strategic move of his tenure, Tesco CEO Philip Clarke has given the UK retailer's operations in Japan the chop.
There had been speculation that Clarke, who took the helm in March, could look to pull Tesco out of Japan, a market where the retailer was struggling.
Tesco's like-for-like sales in Japan fell by over 8% in the retailer's last financial year, which ran to 26 February. "Japan," Tesco said at the time, "remains a difficult retail environment."
The retailer said today that, after eight years in Japan, it has 129 stores in and around Tokyo and half, the company said today, are profitable.
It is not often Tesco, which has built a largely thriving overseas operation, throws in the towel. However, the market certainly welcomed the move, with Tesco's shares up by 3.48% at 15:26 BST this afternoon.
Thoughts naturally turn to the unit seen as Tesco's other main international problem - the US. From almost the day the first Fresh & Easy store opened in the US, Tesco has faced criticism and concerns over the US business have grown in recent months after its losses increased in the company's last financial year. Warren Buffett, for one, has called the venture "foolhardy".
Clarke said at the time that it was "essential" that Fresh & Easy's losses come down in the year ahead. However, he insisted he was confident that Fresh & Easy would be profitable by the end of 2012/13. Nevertheless, as just-food reported earlier this year, industry watchers are unsure whether Tesco can turn Fresh & Easy around.
After saying "sayonara" to Japan, how long will it be before Clarke says "see ya" to the US?
The plethora of food manufacturing associations in the UK has been argued by some to be an impediment to the industry coming to a coherent position on the aftermath of Brexit and on what the sector sh...
An update on Amazon's plans for the grocery sector. The usually reticent retailer has this week poured cold water on claims it has plans for 2,000 physical grocery stores....
Ask any FMCG executive to list the trends shaking up the sector and digital and e-commerce will be pretty high on the list. Drill down into that and Amazon will be one of the subjects in the digital s...
Since Theresa May took over as UK Prime Minister in the wake of the country's referendum vote to quit the European Union, she and her ministers have been at pains not to divulge their negotiating posi...
- Wessanen's move for Spain's Biogran - analysis
- The key questions for digital strategists in 2017
- Unilever 2016 investor day - the top takeaways
- Burger King, Jollibee: foodservice focus, Nov 2016
- Whole Foods, Aldi, M&S - retail round-up, Nov 2016
- Verlinvest, China Resources invest in Oatly
- Hain Celestial appoints Nestle executive as US COO
- General Mills jobs to go in business revamp
- Chobani COO Burns to leave yogurt firm
- Freedom Foods Group nears M&A in Oz, North America
- How Brands Are Making Our Food Healthier
- Confectionery North America (NAFTA) Industry Guide_2016
- Processed Snacks (Savory Snacks) Market in the United States - Outlook to 2020: Market Size, Growth and Forecast Analytics
- Chocolate (Confectionery) Market in Belgium - Outlook to 2020: Market Size, Growth and Forecast Analytics
- Global Dried Processed Food Market 2016-2020