Fresh & Easy flops, considering closure

December 6, 2012

The owners of Fresh & Easy announced Wednesday that because the stores are failing in the U.S. market they are reviewing options such as selling or closing the chain. [AdAge]

“It is now clear that Fresh & Easy will not deliver acceptable shareholder returns on an appropriate time frame in its current form,” said Tesco CEO Philip Clarke in a statement.

“While Fresh & Easy has many positives, its journey to scale and acceptable returns will take too long relative to other opportunities. I have therefore decided to conduct a strategic review of Fresh & Easy, with all options under consideration.”

Earlier this year, the county’s only Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market opened on Broad Street in San Luis Obispo amid much fanfare. At the time, Tesco marketed the store as having Trader Joe’s type specialty foods with Walmart prices, a claim deemed inaccurate by many.

The California-based grocery chain opened in 2007. Tesco has invested around $1.5 billion into the U.S. venture, with almost 200 stores employing more than 5,000 people.


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With the coupons and points they are quite affordable. The problem is one has to keep track of all the darn coupons. TJs is so much easier to deal with. Cheap prices good product. Fresh and Easy should have followed that model more closely. That said, I’m bummed if they close.

From the tribune-The Village at Broad Street, developed by ROEM Corp., is on the east side of Broad Street between Santa Barbara and Alphonso streets, near the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market that opened last week.

The city provided a $1 million housing loan from its housing trust fund to the developer and waived $870,000 in water, sewer and traffic impact fees — a form of tax on new buildings — to help the project advance.

So……… now that the city of SLO has made a 1.8 million dollar investment in a failed business venture, how long will it take for them to raise fees on the residents our demand additional concessions from their employees? I remember Marx proudly proclaiming when this project opened the extent to which the city of SLO financed this private business venture. The city is broke right? no money to fix potholes or complete capitol improvement projects right?

Marx and the rest of the city council know that no one is paying the slightest bit of attention so they will continue to subsidize private failed business ventures with taxpayer dollars. You guys in SLO reelected the whole crew so enjoy the higher fees for reduced services.

Oh and that loan was just a loan right? ever heard the term SOFT LOAN? read the agenda reports on the city council agenda and see for yourself.

good times

“The city provided a $1 million housing loan from its housing trust fund ”

You realise the housing behind the Fresh and easy is staying there right?

You realise the other businesses are still there?

You realise there are still 2 more lots for development there?

“You guys in SLO”

We have problems in SLO enough without people dragging there over inflated teabag factoids into the mix.

Yes of course i realize the free or nearly free housing for the drug addict standing in line in front of me at Costco with two carts (one for the food stamp debit carb and another for cash purchase for the booze and tobacco) is still there.

Yes of course I realize the other businesses are still there, you do mean the hole in the wall haircut place and the nail salon that has yet to open right. How could I miss these two engines of the economy amongst all the vacant commercial space for lease.

And you do of course understand that one of my teabag factoids was that the city exempted $870,000 in fees for the whole development which includes the floundering Fresh and Easy, not just the socialized housing project.

One point we can certainly agree on is you do have enough problems in SLO, to include the highest paid employee in the history of the city as a city manager who has decimated the morale of the entire city work force and caused managers to jump like rats from a burning ship. A corrupt City Council that is so beholden to the chamber and the business community that it has turned it’s back on the residents. And last but not least a population that is apathetic to what is going on at city hall and allows it to thrive.

Oh that’s nothing compared to the sweetheart deal the city of SLO gave to WestPac. They sold WestPac a city parking lot for a fraction of its value, loaned them even more money, and forgave even more fees. Why exactly is the city loaning these developers money anyway? I thought that was the job of banks. If a bank refuses to loan someone money because they think its a bad deal, maybe the city should too.

Tell them to ask for a “bailout.”

In a crony capitalist system, the taxpayers are always happy to help, right?

I gave you a thumbs up for your bit of well-aimed sarcasm but I do have a question. How does one deal with the faults of a “crony capitalist system” without violating the principals of libertarian purism that you typically espouse? (Inadequate answers to this question are what led me to abandon purist libertarian economic philosophies many years ago.)

This is very unfortunate. I enjoy shopping at their store in SLO. Their prices are great, especially with their weekly $10 off $50 coupons.