October 21, 2015
Central Coast Fresh and Easy stores are be among the 97 remaining in the chain that are expected to close or be sold off in a matter of weeks according to multiple media reports.
Store employees at San Luis Obispo, Orcutt and Santa Barbara confirm they have been told that closure is likely unless their store location is sold.
Today the Orange County Register
reported the chain would liquidate all its stores in the coming weeks, with some set to close and others to be sold. At one time Fresh and Easy had around 200 stores but closed the half owned by founder Tesco, the English grocer. LA-based Yucaipa Companies in 2013 bought 97 locations. Now those too will be shuttered. The trade publication Supermarket News
reported the same today.
The small grocery store chain will be liquidated in many of the same markets as Haggen is closing at the same time including San Luis Obispo. Those stores at least have Smart and Final re-occupying the storefronts except for Los Osos if approved through the Haggen Chapter 11 court proceedings. This week the Delaware bankruptcy court said an auction of remaining California Haggen locations is set for early November. Bids for Haggen stores must be submitted by November 2 and the auction will take place on November 9.
Fresh and Easy and Haggen share a common sad story – they once thought they could conquer the California grocery business but instead they collapsed, one slowly – one very fast.