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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc. has started “the process for an organized wind-down,” company spokesperson Brendan Wonnacott told the Los Angeles Times.
Fresh & Easy continues to seek a buyer, but doesn’t have enough cash and can’t obtain financing to continue operating the business, Wonnacott added.
El Segundo-based Fresh & Easy operates 97 convenience store/grocery store hybrid locations in California, Nevada and Arizona.
According to the news outlet, Fresh & Easy stores will be liquidated and closed during the next few weeks. A person close to the situation added that layoffs in the corporate office will take place next week.
As CSNews Online reported earlier this month, the company could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a second time. Following the first bankruptcy filing, Fresh & Easy was purchased from Tesco plc by billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. in 2013.
Regarding the reasons why the c-store/grocery hybrid chain has been unsuccessful, analysts cited a failure to personalize merchandise selection based on location, failure to restock popular items quickly enough, and higher prices for its private-label products than name-brand counterparts.