The West Coast grocery chain announced it will close all of existing locations.
Earlier this year Fresh & Easy revealed 50 stores would be closing, while the remaining would be redesigned but it seems like they have abandoned the idea.
All of the 97 remaining stores and 3,000 employees in California, Arizona, and Nevada will be affected. More than half of which are in Southern California.
Over the next few weeks, Fresh & Easy will begin an organized dissolution of operations. State-mandated WARN act notification are said to have been delivered to employees with layoffs beginning at corporate offices later this week.
The struggling chain made its appearance onto the highly competitive Southland grocery market back in 2007.
Fresh & Easy doesn’t have funding to remain open; although, the past two years efforts have brought the grocery store chain closer to break even.
Fresh & Easy was British multinational grocery and produce conglomerate, Tesco’s, first endeavor into the states.
Tesco attempted to pass it off as the European rendition of Trader Joe’s, offering fresh produce and ready-made meals.
Fresh & Easy has a rocky beginning and has since remained unprofitable. Not only was the lack of differentiation a problem for the grocery chain but the tide of competition flooding the market. Massive retailers like Target and Wal-Mart began expanding their produce offering. Trader Joe’s continued development for new stores. Although, brick-and-mortar locations weren’t the chains only threat. Google, Amazon, and Instacart started testing produce and grocery delivery/pickup operations.
Haggen is another chain facing similar struggles. The grocery chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month and announced some of its locations were being sold to Gelson’s and Smart & Final if approved by the bankruptcy court.
Back in 2013, Fresh & Easy filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and was seized by billionaire Ron Burkle. Tesco remained a minority stakeholder.
Fresh & Easy still hopes a new owner will come to rescue them but the name no longer has the equity it once did.
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