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Fresh & Easy May Close Stores

The British-based grocery chain prepares to pull the plug on its 199 U.S. supermarkets. Offers to buy the chain are already surfacing.

The 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 grocery chain never quite caught on with American consumers. The Santee store hasn't had time to catch on locally, having just opened its doors in January 2012.

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, shoppers 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."

Offers to buy all or part of the chain are already trickling in, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The exact fate of the Santee location is uncertain.

Melissa S. December 06, 2012 at 06:09 AM
This does not surprise me one bit atleast with the experience I had at the few times I was there. The products made available did not seem maintained well, especially the discounted items. I feel just because something s discounted for whatever reason, does not need to be poorly maintained. This is what turned me away.
Brian Hanifin December 06, 2012 at 06:14 AM
How weird. I just tried them for the first time a few months ago and like to go there over the larger stores on occasion because I can get in and out quicker.
Tim Boyajian December 06, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Like most new places, they started out with good prices to attract customers, and I enjoyed shopping there. But they soon raised there prices and I have little reason to shop there anymore.
I loved the store! I sad to hear it didn't catch on with people.

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