Grocery Chain Fresh & Easy Closing 50 Stores In Three Western States

Shoppers in California, Arizona and Nevada should keep an eye out for disappearing grocery stores, after the Fresh & Easy chain announced it’d be closing 50 stores in the three states and redesigning the rest. That’s about a third of its total stores after emerging from bankruptcy under new ownership in the fall of 2013.

A spokesman for the chain said it’ll sell 30 of those stores in Southern California, with the rest of the 20 locations sprinkled in the other two states, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Those locations “do not meet the criteria of Fresh & Easy’s model of modern convenience,” the spokesman said, while the rest of the 167 total stores will undergo a makeover.

The company is also working with the designers behind the Apple store for a new food convenience store concept.

Fresh & Easy Chief Executive Jeff Keyes announced the news first in a YouTube video, according to CBS Los Angeles, which appears to longer be available.

He reportedly said in the video that the company had identified about 50 locations that “we truly believe are better suited to a a different type of retail,” noting that many of those would be closing in the next few weeks.

Fresh & Easy entered the grocery arena in 2007 as a Tesco brand, before going through bankruptcy proceedings in 2013 and emerging with Yucaipa as its new owner. It shed about 50 stores at that time as well.

The full statement is below:

“Fresh & Easy has spent much of the past year and a half since transitioning to new ownership transforming into a new business focused on delivering a new vision of modern convenience. This transformation was always going to be a challenge but the company has accomplished several major initiatives including a massive renovation project and re-launch in Las Vegas with an all-new fresh food concept. Just this month the company rolled out a new e-commerce Click & Collect service in Las Vegas, which will serve as a test for a wider rollout. Fresh & Easy has also put innovation at the forefront of the transformation of its food manufacturing business, building a successful third-party business model out of its Riverside commissary facilities.

The company is now in a better position to rationalize its store base and divest locations that do not meet the criteria of Fresh & Easy’s model of modern convenience. This move allows the company to redeploy capital into development and growth, including a 3,000 to 5,000 square foot store to provide a higher level of convenience and greater density. Fresh & Easy is also working with ADMI, the innovative firm behind the design of the Apple Store, to design the Fresh & Easy store of the future – a concept that the company believes represents the future of convenience retail and puts Fresh & Easy into a category of one: the only fresh food convenience store.”

Fresh & Easy Announces Closure Of 50 Locations; 30 In Southland [CBS Los Angeles]
Fresh & Easy closing more stores: Where they are in Southern California [Los Angeles Times]