Fresh & Easy closing 30 stores in Southern California

Fresh & Easy to sell 30 stores in Southern California

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.

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FOR THE RECORD

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the first name of CEO Jim Keyes as Jeff.

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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

Twitter: @smasunaga

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

1:19 p.m.: This story has been updated with comment from a shopper.

10:19 a.m.: This story has been updated with additional detail.

This story was first published at 9:28 a.m.

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