Business & Economy

Fresh & Easy tries to woo customers back to its stores

This was one of the first 16 stores that Fresh & Easy opened in the U.S., and this was — and still is — in Los Angeles.
This was one of the first 16 stores that Fresh & Easy opened in the U.S., and this was — and still is — in Los Angeles.
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Grocery chain Fresh & Easy wants to have its cake and eat it, too.

The company sent out e-mails to shoppers in its rewards program on Thursday, telling them it doesn’t plan to close stores, even though it doesn’t know who its parent company will be in the future.

Fresh & Easy’s British parent company, Tesco, said it is considering all options, including selling the unprofitable chain, which has more than 70 stores in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

“While we don’t know exactly what that outcome will be, or if Tesco will continue to own the company, we’re confident that Fresh & Easy can continue to be your favorite market,” Fresh & Easy said in an e-mail addressed to shoppers.

Fresh & Easy did not return KPCC's requests for comment.

Bob Goldin, an executive vice president at market research firm Technomic, said the packaged foods at Fresh & Easy didn’t resonate with consumers. The stores didn’t offer the lowest prices or the best selection, he said.

Goldin predicts that discount retailers like Dollar General would be interested in snapping up Fresh & Easy locations.

“I think if anyone were to do it, they would be converting the banner (and) rebranding them,” Goldin said.

While Fresh & Easy sorts out its future, will its e-mail help to attract shoppers? Goldin said it couldn’t hurt.