FRESH & EASY TO CLOSE?

The San Francisco Chronicle (story) and Los Angeles Magazine (story) published news today that Fresh & Easy is considering closing all 200 stores in the United States. In the meantime, Fresh & Easy stores are staying open. The grocery chain opened a store at 336 N. Milpas Street last June and has been planning to open a second location in Goleta in 2013. Here is a snippet of news from the Chronicle:

British supermarket chain Tesco is considering closing down its 200 American Fresh & Easy grocery stores – 19 in the Bay Area – after they failed to deliver acceptable shareholder returns, the company announced Wednesday.

“Whilst the business has many positives, its journey to scale and acceptable returns will take too long relative to other opportunities,” Phillip Clarke, Tesco’s chief executive, said in a written release.

The firm said it will conduct a strategic review of the U.S. grocery chain before making a final decision, which could include selling off the stores instead of shutting them down. Company officials say they have been approached by a number of parties interested in acquiring either some or all of the business, or partnering with Tesco.

In the meantime, Fresh & Easy stores are staying open.

“Our focus remains on our people and our customers,” said Brendan Wonnacott, director of Fresh & Easy’s corporate affairs. “It is business as usual in our stores.”

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9 Responses to FRESH & EASY TO CLOSE?

  1. Scott says:

    Awesome! Does that mean I can look forward to a 6000 sq. foot Whitefoot Meat Market returning to Milpas??

  2. k says:

    but they said in the la paper that they were considering SELLING the stores.. so if someone buys the whole chain they could stay open

  3. Glenn says:

    Too bad the concept of that place is really neat, fresh and easy!

  4. Brent says:

    It’s too bad. They have some noble corporate values such as running all their delivery trucks on biodiesel and powering their distribution centers on solar. They also try to place stores in “food deserts” i.e. areas under served by other grocery chains (typically lower income neighborhoods) as part of their strategy. It’s too bad to see that this is still too hard to justify economically in this country.

  5. tama says:

    i tried the ready to prepare foods the other day and was pleasantly surprised. their prices were reasonable, in fact some groceries compared very well to the large chains. I actually liked the concept a lot….and some of the english offerings were a plus.

    placed on the Mesa or upper State, I think the SB version would have done very well.

  6. Melissa says:

    I would go all the time if it wasn’t on Milpas.

  7. golden boy says:

    The business model is not flexible. All the stores are the same. The stores do well in richer areas. People in poor areas want cheap stuff not high end food. Take chocolate syrup for example. At the supermarket, all but one of the chocolate syrup has HFCS. At Fresh and Easy most do not have HFCS. Most folks do not care and will buy the cheap stuff at the supermarket. Fresh and Easy is like a small Whole Foods market. I think all stores that have closed are in poor areas.

  8. Charlotte says:

    So, is Goleta opening? No activity at all….for months. It would do very well in that demographic.

    • SL says:

      Well according to the press release today, no. Stores that were planned are now on indefinite hold. However it doesn’t sound like any of the stores already open ill be closing their doors anytime soon (likely will be bought out by a large company such as Wallmart).

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