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Fresh & Easy Stores May Close

The British-based grocery chain prepares to pull the plug on its 199 U.S. markets.

This British are leaving, the British are leaving!

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

Owned by Britain's Tesco, the 199-market chain—which currently operates a Temecula location on Margarita Road—never quite caught on with American consumers, the news report indicated.

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."

Temecula momma December 05, 2012 at 07:27 PM
No, No, No.....I love Fresh and Easy! It's the only store I shop at....Please don't close!
Galactic Cannibal December 05, 2012 at 07:34 PM
American shoppers are like cones or New Zealand sheep, trained and conditioned from early grade schools. That create mass markets of mediocrity. We are a parochial country with the exception of 11% who have passports and travel abroad occasionally. You can ignore the US military who go abroad, since they are housed in US military ghettos and have little to do with the local population, except annoy them.
Galactic Cannibal December 05, 2012 at 07:34 PM
correction ..cones should read clones...
Mrs H December 05, 2012 at 07:48 PM
No! You can't leave! I don't shop anywhere else!
Elaine Mendoza December 05, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I heard this sometime back, however at that time the reason given was that the Union wanted them gone.....I love Fresh n Easy.....I have one close enough to walk to !!
Mimi December 05, 2012 at 09:14 PM
What a shame! I like Fresh & Easy. It's like the grocery store version of 7-11: You're in and out in no time! I don't mind ringing up my own groceries either; I rather enjoy it. No chit-chat with someone named "Madge" who wants to tell me about how much her feet hurt.
SPB December 05, 2012 at 10:57 PM
poor Madge. someone should buy that woman some sensible shoes.
Galactic Cannibal December 06, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Response to : Steve Newman Hey Dude: Name calling is a very crude substitute for argument or debate. Clearly you do not understand that.
GD December 06, 2012 at 05:27 AM
The Associated Press was also reporting that Tesco's been approached by possible buyers or partners. That might give the chain another chance.
Justin Sayin December 06, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Great store great food fresh never frozen good fish and really good cook in sauces, I hope they don't close I thought the locations were crazy though both stores in temecula and murrieta involve doing some kind of maneuvering to get to the store with your car(U-turns) Tesco this is the British equivalent of Walmart but they still have standards they are not out to feed you cardboard for a profit. I will miss this store.
Big John December 06, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I admit I don't shop there very often - it's more of an oversight. But hey, I always enjoy their meals. I always equate them to a frozen super-market meal that you take home and microwave...except these guys have fresh food. And tasty. The biggest problem for the chain, in my opinion, has been a lack of marketing. No one really knows what they are all about. I have had several conversations with friends over the past year - none who had any idea. Today, they are loyal shoppers. Maybe we'll see another company step up and fill the void in the marketplace. Now that I think of it, it would be a great category for supermarkets to start selling freshly prepared meals, all ready to go. They do it with Pizza already, whey not step it up a level?
GD December 06, 2012 at 03:09 PM
For me the Temecula location isn't too bad to get into, just a simple right turn from northbound Margarita. To get home, I drive behind the store, turn right toward the Albertson's center and then turn left via Lucky Ctr Drive.
GD December 06, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Another thing no one has considered yet is the distribution center in Riverside. If Fresh & Easy closes, how many does that impact? There were also some food suppliers in the area, as I recall.
TVOR December 06, 2012 at 03:52 PM
The couple of times I went in there I found their prices to be too high on the things I wanted. I'm over them.
Lash LaRue December 06, 2012 at 05:00 PM
How is that HOPE & CHANGE working out for ya? http://dailyjobcuts.com/ Just wait it will get worse as most companies will eliminate full time employees and have their workers on 29 hour part time roles to get around OBAMA care rules.
Lynn December 06, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I never liked F&E because the food is all pre-packaged & isn't "fresh". I wish Trader Joe's or Whole Foods would go in -- I would be there all the time! How can we make that happen?
GD December 06, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I've never been in a Whole Foods store, but I thought the ones I've seen were bigger? The floor space seems to be right for a Trader Joe's, although the parking isn't great. Then again, the parking isn't great in their current location either!
S Smith December 06, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I LOVE F&E!! Only place to get really good sauces and Hawaiian POG!!!! I shop the Temecula store a few times a week for all sorts of things, and Its busy!! If It goes, they need to put in a Trader Joes here, I hate driving across town to the one on Winchester! Paseo Del Sol and RedHawk need a Trader Joes!!!!
S Smith December 06, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Whole Foods is a GREAT store, But its HUGE, they would need a regular supermarket sized location in Temecula. I miss the one in Huntington Beach I used to shop at. That was a wonderland of organic products, A cheese shop that was as good as any European shop and a Wine and Beer section that had hard to find vintages and small batch microbrews. They are also one of the BEST companies to work for, they have awesome benefits and pay!!
Lynn December 06, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Couldn't agree more. I love the Whole Foods in HB also! I miss HB :(
Lynn December 06, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Whoops -- couldn't agree more with S Smith :)
james smillie December 07, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Tesco is a really successful long established supermarket chain in the U.K. - can't imagine how they appear to have got it so wrong in the U.S.- here's hoping they can turn things around and perhaps make the stores more like the British model - sss ( central Scotland )
Michael December 07, 2012 at 03:59 AM
I blame OBAMA. Just kidding. First, Twinkies and now Fresh and Easy. Our Walmart was one of four Walmarts to get the last shipment of Twinkies last Wednesday. My bought 3 boxes. Yummy!! But, I only shopped at Fresh and Easy like once or twice, I only feel sorry for the people losing jobs.

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