The head of Fresh & Easy's British parent company, Tesco, confirmed today that "it's likely, but not certain, that our presence in America will come to an end." It seems that dropping more than $2.5 billion on the venture was not enough to achieve SoCal GroSto domination. What this means for your local Fresh & Easy is not yet clear, though speculation is that Tesco will try to find a buyer for all or part of its US operation. A spokesman had no news for Eastsider LA about the Echo Park location currently under development, and a Fairfax location, scheduled to open soon on Melrose, is still advertising jobs. While the F&Es did have a few loyal fans, the El Segundo-based chain's probable demise is not exactly a shocker. Despite sending a team of executives to the US to study our mysterious food-buying habits, the retailer got just about everything wrong: stores were too small, or too big, too gloomy, too automated, in the wrong places or missing the right products. Seven California locations closed this year though things were looking pretty bad as early as 2008.
· How Tesco's Fresh & Easy became Stale & Difficult [Guardian]
· Supermarket Roundabout: Is Fresh & Easy a Fiasco? [Curbed LA]