Despite reassurances from Fresh & Easy officials that the grocery chain still intends to open its location in Glendora, poor store sales in surrounding communities and stores within the U.S. continue to cast doubt over the store’s opening date.
In late June, Fresh & Easy’s British parent company Tesco threatened to pull the plug on its Fresh & Easy venture in the U.S., citing continued poor sales.
"If we see there is no chance of success, we'll do as we've just done in Japan," Chief Executive Philip Clarke told Reuters, referring to Tesco's earlier decision to exit the Japanese market. Tesco reported that Fresh & Easy sales in more than 200 of its U.S. stores had slowed to 3.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, down from 12.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Sales in stores in Glendora’s surrounding communities also report less desired results.
Representatives in the chain’s El Segundo corporate office have was contingent on store sales in surrounding cities such as Azusa, Covina and San Dimas.
But more than two years after the Glendora store’s construction, the Glendora location remains in limbo.
Fran Natale of the Abbey Company, the store’s property management company, said while the chain continues to pay rent for the 14,000-square-foot space with intentions of a future opening intact, lagging sales at nearby stores continue to plague the Glendora location.
“We do not have an opening date or timeframe for the Glendora store at this point,” said Fresh & Easy representative Brendan Wonnacott in March.
Earlier this year, storefront Fresh & Easy signage was quietly taken down, sparking rumors that Fresh & Easy was abandoning the site.
Abbey Company officials say the status of the Glendora location remains unchanged, however the signs will not be restored unless Fresh & Easy announces a more definite timeframe for the store’s opening.