Fresh & Easy Fate Unknown in Wake of Potential Sale

The parent company of the grocery chain, Tesco, announced that it plans to "put all options" on the table, including possibly selling off the stores.

UPDATE: Fresh & Easy released a statement on its Facebook feed this afternoon reminding customers that the business is still open:

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!

ORIGINAL STORY: Could the City of Industry Fresh & Easy be at risk of shutting its doors?

After several years of losing profits, Tesco, the grocery chain’s parent company, has announced that it has brought in an investment firm to review the finances for the troubled franchise and contends all options are on the table. 

Tesco has invested around $1.5 billion into the U.S. stores since opening in the West Coast region in 2007, reported the news site AdAge.  The idea behind the British-based company bringing its markets to the United States was to compete with Wal-Mart, but that has not proved to be an effective strategy, AdAge reported.

Close to 200 stores employ more than 5,000 people in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, the publication reported.  The company opened its first stores in Northern California, San Francisco, and the Bay Area in March 2011.

Tesco reported its first fall in profits since 1994 in October, according to a news release.

“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,” Chief Executive Philip Clarke said in a news release.  “It is now clear that Fresh & Easy will not deliver acceptable shareholder returns on an appropriate timeframe in its current form.”

The company also announced that it would make further announcements for the chain in April when the company’s annual financial reports are released.

“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,” Clarke said. "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.”



Michael December 06, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I hope they stay open, I like the artisan bread they sell and their prefab salsa. Their selection IS a little strange; no bologna or McCormick's turkey gravy packets??? I like the check-out too, they don't hit you up for money like VONS does. VONS should concentrate on not charging double for everything instead of pimping "charities."
Robert Corona December 06, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Will miss it... convenient little place.. always hit it when i go to CVS... Its in a good location, right next to the fitness place. You can gouge and go work it off. Hope it stays... Doubt it though. Most of em bleeding to death.
Robert Corona December 06, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Not a good place for Trader Joe's.. not enough parking and horrible in and out.. Trader would do better on the other side of Grand..
Wayne Breitkreutz December 06, 2012 at 06:29 AM
fresh & easy has the best chocolate iced cream puffs. they come two in a package. about as good as those from the old home delivery helms bakery trucks i remember in the 1950's &1960's.
Gabriela Klein December 06, 2012 at 05:00 PM
It takes a long time to establish a reputation. Trader Joe's was not an instant success either. They started very small, a family company, and expanded their products very slowly. F&E is a British based company, and those of us familiar with European tastes find the store interesting, but here's the problem: not quite big enough to give the feeling of the freshest quality, best prices, and not quite hip enough to make a dent in the Trader Joe's niche. It's just NOT COOL ENOUGH. If YOU were bringing a treat to a party, let's say, which bag would you feel more comfortable walking in with? A TJ's, or F&E? I have bought their Gold Medal winning sparkling wine from Spain for a few gatherings, including at my home. EVERYONE commented on how delicious and special the wine was. Unfortunately, the response when I sheepishly admitted that I bought it at F&E, has been close to shock! "REALLY? Fresh and Easy??? Are you serious?" That's not good. And as far as competing with Walmart? Are you kidding? There needs to be a MickeyD's in the foyer frying up some cholesterol, and a 100 foot wall of soda to come close to that. F&E is definitely higher quality than that. I hope they can make it work, but with falling profits since 1994, it's not likely. How sad.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »