• The former Tesco executive said the economy made it “between very difficult and impossible” for Fresh & Easy to succeed in the US
  • Mason said he “would have loved” to have been made chief executive of the grocer
  • Mason said that Tesco’s problems in the UK hindered Fresh & Easy’s chances of long-term success

Former Tesco boss Tim Mason insisted that Fresh & Easy could have been a success in the US if it had received greater financial investment.

The supermarket’s former marketing boss, who spearheaded the launch of Fresh & Easy in the US in 2007, told The Grocer that the chain could have been a success if it had been given greater financial investment.

“If Tesco had been financially stronger, the business could have taken everything it learned over six years and refined and developed the model and gotten it to an acceptable place,” said Mason, who left the business in 2012.

“Unfortunately there wasn’t that economic firepower. There were problems all over the place, not least in the UK, and the decision was made.”

Tesco paid US billionaire Ron Burkle to take Fresh & Easy off its hands in 2013 after trading losses and investment ballooned to £1.8bn.

“There were many very good reasons, not least the economy, that meant it was somewhere between very difficult and impossible to be successful in that timeframe,” said Mason.

Mason, who acted as deputy chief executive at Tesco between 2010 and 2012, also said he “would have loved” to be chief executive of the supermarket chain.

The former Tesco executive and Bonmarché chairman was appointed as chairman of online customer loyalty specialists Eagle Eye in January.