Psst, Anybody Out There Wanna Buy the Fresh & Easy Chain?

Categories: News

freshandeasyexteriorsign.jpg
Ben Tao
On Wednesday, Tesco, the English-based company and owner of Fresh & Easy, announced it was getting the hell out of the U.S. and selling its money pit grocery store chain that wouldn't let you touch the fruit, never had the brands you wanted, and made you check out your own damn self.

See also:
- CLOSED: Every Baja Fresh in the Valley

Tesco got into America's grocery game in 2007 and currently has around 200 Fresh & Easy locations in Arizona, California, and Nevada. According to the Fresh & Easy website, the company hopes to sell the chain to a single operator and says they're "pleased to confirm there are no plans to close any portion of Fresh & Easy."

So, hey, um, anyone wanna buy this thing?

Although Fresh & Easy hasn't yet named a buyer, or a price, several news reports have indicated there's been interest from the company that owns the Aldi grocery chain and Trader Joe's.

But that seems unlikely.

Given the Valley's shit-ton of grocery store chains, one buyer for all the Fresh & Easy locations would have a hard time making it work in Phoenix. Tesco might say there aren't any plans to close Fresh & Easy, but plans change and giant companies pray at the altar of profits, not people. So see ya, Fresh & Easy, don't let the door hit your plastic-covered fruit on the way out.

Now, what's really going to happen?

In an interview with the Republic, Judi Butterworth, senior vice president with the Velocity Retail Group in Phoenix, says a more likely scenario will be that one purchaser "will buy the portfolio for a good price and offer the available locations for a variety of uses, from charter schools and daycare centers to satellite medical clinics."

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55 comments
Laura Ory
Laura Ory

I will be really bummed if they do close. They were definitely different but I always found shopping there quick and easy. Good prices and good food. Their branded products are healthy and have no dyes, preservatives, etc. And self check out is a lot faster for some of us.

Farhana Baki
Farhana Baki

I would if I had the resources. I love Fresh and Easy. I hope whoever buys it keeps the store Fresh and Easy.

Linda Gibson
Linda Gibson

I don't know if we even had one in Tucson...

Niki D'Andrea
Niki D'Andrea

All your links are blocked by malware warnings, just FYI.

David James
David James

It would totally RAWK if they could manage to put locally owned farmer's markets in those stores.

Megan Elizabeth Voymas
Megan Elizabeth Voymas

I think the only reason they package EVERYTHING is because it's a hotspot for vagrants.

Megan Elizabeth Voymas
Megan Elizabeth Voymas

Uh... Let's look at it this way- they aren't serial entrepreneurs & aren't getting out because they're bored.

Janelle Novotny
Janelle Novotny

Yeesh, New Times, I am sorry that they sell some of the fruit in bags so you can't put your grubby little hands all over it. Some of us just like a break from the twenty different brands of the same damn food and prefer a smaller, more straight forward grocery store. You know, because we know enough about food and cooking to care about things like quality and actual variety rather than the run of the mill foods carried by all the other chains..

Laura Linger
Laura Linger

Didn't try to open the link, but let me tell you how much I will miss F&E if they close: a HELL of a lot.

Scott Hecker
Scott Hecker

btw. I am on a mac, so maybe this is only impacting mac users.

Jeffrey Wade
Jeffrey Wade

Malware, bad writers, and massively biased reporting... yeah, we got a winner here.

Angela Mack
Angela Mack

I'd love to read about it, but I got the same malware notice too.

Gary Waterman
Gary Waterman

You need to stop beating around the bush and tell people how you REALLY feel about Fresh n Easy. Ha btw my puter opened it just fine..those guys ^^^ watch to much farm animal porn! Ha

Scott Hecker
Scott Hecker

So uh, Chrome and Firefox have blocked the site due to malware. Might want to check that out.

Horsemeat
Horsemeat

The Pre-made meals are just Fozen food that are thawed out at the Store.  Check out the Sodium levels of those Pre-made meals.......That will raise your Blood Pressure!

Fresh & Easy, but not very healthy.

They have a huge turnover of employees.....They don't treat their employees very well!

Tesco is the Wallmart of Europe.

Manuel Marquez
Manuel Marquez

Gee, Laura Hahnefeld, don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

Barbara Hagerty
Barbara Hagerty

They saved our lives on a couple of occasions. Will always have a soft spot in my heart for F&E.

Alicia Geier
Alicia Geier

Snarky & uneducated. They never had fruit wrapped in plastic a la 1970s.

Alicia Geier
Alicia Geier

& no plastic covered fruit either.....ever.

Alicia Geier
Alicia Geier

If you got your condescending rear end off that high horse & actually shopped one in the past you might have noticed their private label products read like your grandmothers recipes, no artificial garbage, their proscuitto & cheeses from Europe are top drawer & even their branded produce included fruit picked & delivered in less than 48 to the store.

Barbara Lawrence Toombs
Barbara Lawrence Toombs

I have always had great customer service at the two locations I frequent. Guess it's just not consistent, apparently...

getmeouttahere
getmeouttahere

Tesco badly misread the US market (despite supposedly doing years of reasearch) and it did not help that they decided to open their concept just before the economy shit the bed, in the three states that got hit the worst (AZ, CA and NV). That said, despite the flaws, I appreciate that Fresh & Easy did understand that not every grocery shopper is shopping for hubby, wifey and the 2.5 kids. I'm married with no kids, and since my husband is on the road much of the time for his work, I'm usually shopping just for myself. I hate navigating the isles of behemoth stores like Safeway and Fry's and buying stuff in amounts that are way more than I need. Sure there are a few stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods that understand this, but they are either too far out of my way (the nearest Trader Joes -- at Metrocenter -- closed down a few years back after deciding the neighborhood was just way too ghetto for them) or out of my budget. 

American grocery stores, even ones in middle- and lower-class neighborhoods, need to get with the times; census figures show that most households are going to be like mine in the near future, not the 1950s paradigm that so many of them cling to. Americans are going to get tired of navigating huge stores to buy huge quantities of stuff that they really don't need but don't have a choice but to buy, because there are no other alternatives. So much waste.

RIP Fresh & Easy. You had your flaws, but some of us will miss you.

pinotpompous
pinotpompous

Yeah, I hated F & E's produce program, too (everything only by the bunch/bagful). And save for the aisle end cap special(s), much of the meat/poultry quality didn't seem worth the generally higher cost (than F & E's competitors in the market). And the burned-out-on-too-many-Burning-Man-festival employee types were a bummer, too. Not surprised to see F & E bowing out. Love you, Sprouts.

Mandy Bublitz
Mandy Bublitz

I'm eating F & E salsa right now. It's delicious.

66rock
66rock topcommenter

Was excited when they opened the store just up the street but it turns out, there was nothing "fresh" about it.  Had to be very careful since food didn't  turn over very often in the store, if at all.  Plus the selection and sale prices were a joke.  Stopped going there about a year after they opened. Too bad.

Dapper Gatsby
Dapper Gatsby

the health inspection associates i know consider them worse that even 99cent stores. rather uniform in the reports across the pond on how poorly they keep their product and the high spoilage rate in retention of produce especially

kkeenan823
kkeenan823

Eh, the wine selection was pretty good. Especially since I don't have a BevMo or a Wine & More near me.

Barbara Lawrence Toombs
Barbara Lawrence Toombs

Wow...a bit harsh! Convenient, decent stuff at reasonable prices (hey, we all know it's not Whole Foods!), quick in and out, within walking distance of my house? Yes, please. Hope they find a decent buyer.

Jessica Egli
Jessica Egli

Wow. . . definitely not following Chow Bella anymore. . .the store was great, never too crowded, great customer service and lots of tasty items! It's sad to see them go. . . . :(

Patricia Schulz
Patricia Schulz

Really? I find a lot to use/enjoy from F&E... Quick on-the-go dinners, produce not RIDICULOUSLY overpriced... I will miss them if they go. I am, however finding less and less to enjoy from Chow Bella's snarky take on food in the Valley.

Dean Palmer
Dean Palmer

Loved them until the supply thing started getting the best of them. USDA Good/Choice seemed to go downhill to dang near Utility grade; sale items were often out; and customer service was nonexistent from both store and corporate levels. Great start, then the big sink to the lowest acceptable level.Training could have saved them I think

Larry Gulliford
Larry Gulliford

I knew it was trouble when they started closing locations or not ever opening "coming soon" locations. Also recently my nearby location changed their hours to closing at 8pm. Seriously? WTF? Sometimes I barely have 10 minutes to dart in the store and grab a few things before the employees start giving dirty looks.

DiegoDeLaVega
DiegoDeLaVega

@Janelle Novotny Great post.  I despise Safeway and Fry's with their overpriced crap chock full of partially hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup.

marcy
marcy

@getmeouttahere 

The walk through the aisles will do your fat ass some good.

Have you ever wondered why the big grocery stores have supersized their stores?  It's because shoppers like the one-stop shopping.  You really aren't the norm and you won't be the norm in "the near future". 

The 1950's "paradigm"?  In the 1950's you had very small neighborhood grocery stores.  What you think they are "clinging to" is actually what you desire.  You seem very confused.

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