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Fresh & Easy begins closing down stores

Fresh & Easy TESCO (2)

 

Nearly eight years after its debut, the British-conceived supermarket chain Fresh & Easy is ending its American grocery experiment by closing or selling its remaining 100 stores.

The struggling Torrance-based chain, bought two years ago by billionaire supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, said it would liquidate all stores in the coming weeks. Some will close; others will be sold. A second bankruptcy protection filing, rumored last week, was not mentioned in a company statement released Wednesday.

“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, ” company spokesman Brendan Wonnacott said.

Yucaipa Cos., a Burkle investment firm, bought most of the Fresh & Easy operations after it sought protection from creditors in 2013. The chain, created by British retail giant Tesco, filed for bankruptcy protection after losing millions of dollars on the concept.

Read the full story at The Market Business, by Donald V. Morris

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