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Fresh & Easy Going Out of Business in Southern California

Fresh & Easy

Fresh & Easy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Randy Economy

It appears that Fresh & Easy could be out of business here in Southern California after a key decision was announced Wednesday afternoon by parent company Tesco, PLC.

“In October, we announced that new capital investment in Fresh & Easy was to be tightly constrained whilst the business focused on reducing costs and improving the profitability of its existing stores,” a media release for Tesco stated.

“It is now clear that Fresh & Easy will not deliver acceptable shareholder returns on an appropriate time frame in its current form.  We have therefore appointed Greenhill to assist with the review of options. In recent months, we have had a number of approaches from parties interested in acquiring either all or part of Fresh & Easy, or in partnering with us to develop the Fresh & Easy business. We will communicate progress on this process when we present our full year results for the current financial year in April 2013,” the statement continued.

Tesco also announced that CEO Tim Mason is to leave Tesco after 30 years’ service with the company.

“I have been clear since my appointment as CEO was announced that my role is to deliver long-term value for shareholders. Following a year in which my priority for Fresh & Easy was to improve its performance, I have now made a fully informed assessment of its longer term potential,” said Philip Clarke with Tesco.

“Whilst the business has many positives, its journey to scale and acceptable returns will take too long relative to other opportunities. I have therefore decided to conduct a strategic review of Fresh & Easy, with all options under consideration.

“Tim Mason, who leaves Tesco today, has played an important part in our success over a 30 year career with the company, and he leaves with my thanks and good wishes,” Clarke said.

Several media outlets have confirmed that all of Fresh and Easy’s locations in Southern California will be closed.

On the Fresh & Easy Facebook Page the following statement was released:

Fresh & easy semitrailer truck

Fresh & easy semitrailer truck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“You may have read today that our parent company, Tesco, has announced a ‘strategic review’ of fresh&easy. We wanted to reassure you, as our friends and greatest supporters, that we are open for business as usual and we look forward to bringing the same delicious, wholesome, and affordable food and the same great service that you have come to expect from us every day.  We appreciate all of the support and affirmations of “We ♥ fresh&easy” from our community of team members, neighbors and customers that we’ve been seeing today!”

“British parent Tesco is ready to sell or close the El Segundo-based chain’s 199 stores in what has proven to be a very costly ($1.6 billion) and unsuccessful effort to break into the American market,” the Wall Street Journal confirmed late Wednesday afternoon.

Fresh & Easy operates locations in Norwalk, Buena Park, and several other locations throughout Southern California.

Tania Lewis, who is a resident of La Mirada wrote on her Facebook Page: “I hope they don’t closed the store I work for il fornaio bakery where a lot of fresh & easy breads are made every day you are one of the il Fornaio Main stores.. From La Mirada California !!!”
Los Angeles resident Kevin Lewis stated on FB: “With today’s announcement I want to repeat the advice I’ve given before. Don’t treat your points like they are a savings plan. Spend them when you get a chance before it’s too late. I hope F&E finds a buyer and that the buyer has a similar philosophy when it comes to products and discounts.”

 

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11 Responses to Fresh & Easy Going Out of Business in Southern California

  1. Jim Reply

    January 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    If F+E leaves town, I will surely go hungry. I despise big supermarkets and having to deal with someone who doesn’t want to help me in the first place mistreat my groceries as they slam them by their scanner. F+E changed my life.. I’m there 2-3 times per week. Them closing would truly be a blow to me and my family

  2. cheri Reply

    January 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    It was a little hard to get used to in the beginning, but now it`s going to be hard not having them! Between F&E, and Trader Joe’s, all in the same parking lot, we are able to get everything done in one full swoop! LOVE their selection, prices, and atmosphere! There is no way I want to go back to the big chain grocers! Hope your able to make it Fresh . & Easy!!! We`re fans here in El Segundo!

  3. Salty Reply

    December 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me. They are a horrible store. The knuckleheads were on a grown spert during the worst part of the economy.

    On top of that, my neighborhood store has people helping at the register – not a machine and do-it-yourself check out.

    The bottom line? They are not a neigborhood store, they play games with their points and people don’t want to play games. They want a fair price for quality products. If this wasn’t true – they wouldn’t be in the trouble they are in.

  4. Cindy Lafler Reply

    December 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I am soooo disappointed! I love F&E, fast, fresh,, healthy, and reasonably priced. Come on folks, what are you thinking? Someone should be able to ride out this storm in the economy. Give F&E more time, I think it will be the way we all shop in the future. Costco, Wal-Mart and Fresh & Easy, what more could anyone want?

    • Brian Hews Reply

      December 12, 2012 at 11:48 am

      I agree love the one near me in Orange!!!

  5. Aspen Reply

    December 12, 2012 at 12:50 am

    This is the best thing to happen to the Grocery business EVER, at least in the Sylmar arae. I wonder how can we get involved to save our beloved small local markets? I wonder if that Union thug picketing had anything to do with this..the unions have ruined Vons and Ralphs. I would hate to have to go back there again, their prices, selection, quality and service SUCK by comparison!

    What can we do?

  6. Julia Reply

    December 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I hope that it stays. Fresh and Easy has changed my lifestyle for the better – I don’t know what I will do without. It helps me to stay healthy and save money. Why do all the good things have to go away???!!! Booohoooo!!!

  7. Patricia Wurm Reply

    December 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    What are we going to do without F&E? It my first home away from home. It’s so great. Love their bakery too. So many things to love about F&E. I don’t want to go back to the big chain stores. No No

  8. CLAUDIA Reply

    December 6, 2012 at 11:37 am

    OMG! Say it isn’t so! I love FE and have shopped with them for the past 5 years. How can I possibly return to more convemtional shops like Vons and Albertson’s??? My favorite wine: I Love CA is sold exclusively through a FE label, I will have to stock up!!!

  9. wdpoole Reply

    December 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

    How disappoonting. F&E is a refreshing replacement for the Albertsons, Ralphs etc. of the world. It has become my second home.

  10. nps Reply

    December 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Going out of business is a lot different then “looking at options” to sell it… Your title isn’t at all factual.

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