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Fresh & Easy 'Likely' to Pull Plug on U.S. Stores

The long-planned Glendora Fresh & Easy remained vacant for years.

The British are leaving, the British are leaving!

Fresh & Easy stores in Southern California and beyond will soon be closed or sold, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Owned by Britain's Tesco, the 199-market chain never quite caught on with American consumers.

"We’re considering all options for the business, but it’s likely that the review will lead to Tesco exiting the U.S. market," wrote chief executive Philip Clarke in a blog post on the company website.

Analysts said the recession was partly to blame -- Fresh & Easy debuted in California, Nevada and Arizona in 2007, just as the economy was tanking. But, ultimately, consumers didn't warm to the concept.

"Though it attracted a small group of loyalists, Fresh & Easy largely failed to capture the imagination of American consumers who proved unaccustomed to British-style ready meals, self-service cash registers and unfamiliar store layouts," the Journal said.

Tesco's CEO told the paper: "It's likely, but not certain, that our presence in America will come to an end."

A Fresh & Easy location was slated to open in Glendora since 2009, and the company continued to pay rent for the vacant store in the Promenade Center on Grand Avenue. Representatives for Fresh & Easy claimed that the Glendora store's opening was dependent on sales of surrounding stores in San Dimas, Covina and Azusa. But the stores' poor sales kept the doors at the Glendora location closed. 

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E.R. Burgess December 06, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Too bad - it's a terrific place to shop.
Marilyn Sparks December 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I'm glad Lazerstar, a great place for families, was evicted to make way for a store that never came!
MellowMaverick December 06, 2012 at 05:14 PM
With some hope maybe a Trader Joes will buy the Fresh and Easy location on Grand!
Richard King December 06, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Trader Joes is a great suggestion and would bring $ to Glendora rather than San Dimas
Paula Hansen December 07, 2012 at 03:02 AM
B.K. and Richard, I like the way you think. I, too would love to see Trader Joe's there. (Go to AAA, then go to Trader Joe's!)
Lynn Budd Elliott December 07, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Yes a Trader Joes would be wonderful for Glenora and much closer than driving to San Dimas!
Alfred Escobar December 13, 2012 at 08:49 AM
Fresh and Easy are enovetors of the new style of grociary shopping.
Iain December 31, 2012 at 06:54 AM
Sorry, not a fan of Fresh and Easy. The corporate offices in the US offshore most of their jobs to India. They do little to employee the American population and only hired store workers because there isn't any way to run a local store without hired help. I tried to like Fresh and Easy, but they never had anything in the store that was all that special. Trader Joe's on the other hand is a local company, based in Pasadena... and they employee workers in their corporate offices in Pasadena. They don't farm their corporate back office work to places like India where people make 1.50 an hour. Sorry... I am not unhappy to see Fresh and Easy hit the end of the line. Perhaps the Azusa store can be re-converted back in the 99 cents store and the Glendora location to a TJ's!

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