Fresh & Easy said it will sell 30 stores in Southern California and will redesign the rest, a spokesman for the grocery chain said.
The El Segundo-based company said it was selling locations "that do not meet the criteria of Fresh & Easy's model of modern convenience," spokesman Brendan Wonnacott said in a statement.
A total of about 50 stores in California, Nevada and Arizona will be closed. That number is about 30% of the grocery chain's 167 stores currently operating, Wonnacott said.
The move will allow the company to finance new development and growth, including a new 3,000- to 5,000-square-foot store, Wonnacott said. Fresh & Easy is working with Apple store designer ADMI on the new fresh food convenience store concept, he said.
Marcela Medina, 29, said she’ll miss her neighborhood Fresh & Easy on East Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles because it will be harder to find organic items in the area. On Monday she was snapping up organic products that were marked down 50% because of the store's closing.
“This is the first store locally that I can get organic produce,” she said. “I do work in Pasadena, so I guess I'll have to go over there, and I'll be looking out for farmers markets.”
The news was first announced Friday by Fresh & Easy Chief Executive Jim Keyes in a YouTube video, according to CBS Los Angeles. The video no longer is available.
FOR THE RECORD
An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the first name of CEO Jim Keyes as Jeff.
Since crossing the Atlantic in 2007, Fresh & Easy has struggled to establish itself in a crowded landscape for natural and organic grocery stores.
The chain was British supermarket giant Tesco's first venture into the U.S. market. Analysts said the company made a mistake when it tried to transplant its British retail format with private-label products and little to no service.
In 2013, Fresh & Easy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after operating for several years without earning a profit. The grocery chain was then sold to grocery billionaire Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos.
Under its new ownership, Fresh & Easy said it recently launched a new e-commerce Click & Collect service in Las Vegas, which will serve as a test for a wider rollout.
The stores set to be sold are:
Foothill Boulevard and Second Avenue, Arcadia
Alosta and Citrus, Azusa
Valley View and La Palma, Buena Park
Arneill Road and Las Posas Road, Camarillo
Chino Hills Parkway and Eucalyptus Avenue, Chino Hills
Central and Rosecrans, Compton
Ontario and Rimpau, Corona
Newport Boulevard and Harbor Boulevard, Costa Mesa
Pacific Coast Highway and 8th Street, Hermosa Beach
Limonite Avenue and Clay Street, Jurupa Valley
Beach Boulevard and Whittier Boulevard, La Habra
Imperial and Santa Gertrudes, La Mirada
Woodruff and South, Lakewood
Spring Street and Palo Verde Avenue, Long Beach
Palos Verdes and Western, Los Angeles
Central and Adams, Los Angeles
Tampa Avenue and Nordhoff Street, Los Angeles
Wendy Drive and Old Conejo Road, Newbury Park
Lindero Canyon Road and Kanan Road, Oak Park
Euclid Avenue and Philadelphia Street, Ontario
Rose Avenue and Gonzales Road, Oxnard
California Boulevard and Lake Avenue, Pasadena
Foothill Boulevard and Vineyard Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga
Foothill Boulevard and Day Creek Boulevard, Rancho Cucamonga
Arlington and Madison, Riverside
Foothill Boulevard and Pali Avenue, Tujunga
8th Street and Mountain Avenue, Upland
Telegraph Road and Day Road, Ventura
Alameda Street and Florence Avenue, Walnut Park
Goldenwest and McFadden, Westminster