After signaling it was looking at "strategic options" for its money-losing Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain early this year, Tesco today announced that it is selling a substantial part of its Fresh & Easy operations, including its Riverside distribution and production facilities, to private equity holding company, Yucaipa Companies LLC.
Tesco indicated the sale is expected to be completed within three months. Yucaipa is purchasing over 150 of Fresh & Easy's 200 stores and is anticipated to retain over 4,000 employees. Currently Fresh & Easy employs over 5,000 people, including 1,300 at its Riverside facility.
On a positive note, this means that they are retaining over 75% of the stores...on a negative note, 25% Fresh & Easy's stores will be closed and 20% of its labor base will be on the job market soon.
WHICH STORES!!?? Yes, this is what everyone wants to know right now, as evidenced on Fresh & Easy's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/freshandeasy. Tesco and Fresh & Easy have not announced which stores will be closed yet but indicated that "those stores not included in the transaction wil be closed over the coming weeks."
So stay tuned, Fresh & Easy fans. There are 10 Fresh & Easy stores in Ventura County and directly adjacent areas.
Yucaipa has quite a track record in the grocery store chain arena, having acquired and/or sold Food 4 Less, Boys Markets, Alpha Beta, Smitty's, Ralphs and Dominick's grocery store chains in the past.