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Fresh & Easy Downsize Continues


Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 10:11 am

Fresh & Easy reportedly plans to close more grocery stores as it continues to downsize.

The Orange County Register reported July 29 that the locations were expected to close by the end of the week. Three Orange County stores—in Fountain Valley, Lake Forest and Seal Beach—were among 14 slated for closure by the El Segundo-based chain; others are in San Diego, Los Angeles, Arizona and Las Vegas.

“Fresh & Easy is closing a small number of underperforming locations,” company spokesman Brendan Wonnacott told the Register on July 29. “While recent initiatives have helped drive additional sales across the Fresh & Easy business, in the case of these locations the progress was not enough to bring their performance in line with the rest of the business.”

Wonnacott said inventory will be marked down 25 percent until sold.

The shuttering of more Fresh & Easy stores follows 55 closures in three states earlier this year.

According to the Register, Wonnacott said then that the closures would allow the company to redeploy capital into development and growth. He said Fresh & Easy was working with ADMI, the firm behind the design of the Apple Store, to create “the Fresh & Easy store of the future.” The company has not provided an update on that effort, the newspaper says.

In 2007, Fresh & Easy’s parent company, U.K.-based Tesco, launched its first 10,000-s.f. Fresh & Easy stores, promising low prices on natural and organic foods, takeout meals, and speedy self checkouts for time-pressed shoppers.

As the Register reports: “Over the next few years, Fresh & Easy made swift changes to adapt to finicky Southern California shoppers, who criticized the chain’s no-frills look and grocery selections.

“In 2013, Fresh & Easy was losing millions of dollars when Ron Burkle’s Los Angeles-based The Yucaipa Cos. took control of the chain from Tesco. The deal included 167 of 200 stores, as well as distribution and manufacturing facilities in Riverside. Stores not purchased were closed.

“Former 7-Eleven executive James Keyes now runs the chain. His turnaround plan calls for the stores to focus on convenience, low everyday prices, ready-to-eat meals and fresher foods. One of its biggest strategies was returning the defunct Wild Oats organic brand to store shelves.”

With the latest round of closures, Fresh & Easy has less than 100 locations in California, Arizona and Nevada.

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Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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