After closing dozens of stores in March of this year, including 30 in Southern California, South Bay-based grocery store Fresh & Easy formally announced today that it would liquidate its remaining locations in California, Nevada and Arizona.
The chain that first opened in 2007 counted nearly 100 stores still remaining after the closures earlier this year, but a lack of finances were cited as the reason for the decision announced today.
Long Beach was home to three of those locations, including one located in the middle of City Place. A previous location on the city’s East Side was part of the last closure wave. The remaining stores will either be sold off or closed outright, the company said.
“Over the last two years, we have been working hard to build a new Fresh & Easy,” the company said Wednesday in a statement. “While we made progress on stemming our losses and moving the business closer to break even, unfortunately we have been unable to obtain financing and the liquidity necessary to continue to fund the business going forward. As we start the process for an organized wind down of the business, we continue to work to sell all or part of the business.”
The company was previously owned by the British retailer Tesco, which began a pattern of closures starting in 2009 after reporting losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Tesco announced the sale of the chain in 2013 to Yucaipa Companies LLC, a firm that is notorious for investing in turnaround projects.
The company announced that all 3,000 of its employees in its remaining stores were sent layoff notices. Just as early as Tuesday, the company advertised hiring events to be held in San Diego on its careers Twitter account.