Fresh & Easy fail: Tesco exits U.S. after profit tanks 96%

Tesco PLC’s ambitious U.S. experiment -- 5-year-old grocery chain Fresh & Easy -- has failed after costing its British parent billions of dollars, the company said Wednesday.

After a strategic review of the brand in the last year, during which Tesco had indicated it might limp back across the pond to lick its wounds, the largest British grocer confirmed its “exit from the United States,” a move that will affect several locations in the region, including two in Burbank.

Tesco will attempt to sell Fresh & Easy and its 200 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. The chain launched to great fanfare in November 2007 – just before the recession and sub-prime mortgage crisis swept through the U.S., causing Americans to retreat to the security of familiar brands.

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-- Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

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