Fresh & Easy is shutting down

By Frazer Jones
The life and times of supermarket chain Fresh & Easy have truly been anything but easy. UK retail giant Tesco launched Fresh & Easy in the Unite...

The life and times of supermarket chain Fresh & Easy have truly been anything but easy. UK retail giant Tesco launched Fresh & Easy in the United States in 2007, but six year and a £1 billion investment later the chain had yet to turn a profit. In 2012 after the departure of CEO Tim Mason, Tesco started reevaluating its presence in the United States—ultimately by the end of 2013 the company opted to pull out of the country and accordingly sold the Fresh & Easy brand to investment firm Yucaipa Companies LLC. But even this move was not able to save the brand: this week the chain informed its 3,000 employees that it is shuttering all remaining locations and closing up shop for good.

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Despite its best efforts since 2013, Fresh & Easy ultimately failed to regain the fiscal stability needed to keep the operation going. On Wednesday Fresh & Easy spokesperson Brendan Wonnacott issued a statement explaining that the company is commencing with an “organized wind down” of all locations:

"Over the last two years, we have been working hard to build a new Fresh & Easy. While we made progress on stemming our losses and moving the business closer to break even, unfortunately we have been unable to obtain financing and the liquidity necessary to continue to fund the business going forward. As we start the process for an organized wind-down of the business, we continue to work to sell all or part of the business."

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Fresh & Easy executed a first wave of downsizing in March, with the closure of 50 locations. This liquidation will see the closure of its 97 remaining locations. In light of the current crisis between Haggen and Albertsons, it seems unlikely that another supermarket chain will drop in to pick up the Fresh & Easy brand wholesale. But if Fresh & Easy is successful in its sale attempts then there is still a chance that some locations may ultimately find success, if under another name.  

[SOURCE: NBC; Supermarket News]


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