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Fresh & Easy May Close Stores

The British-based grocery chain prepares to pull the plug on its 199 U.S. supermarkets. Offers to buy the chain are already surfacing.

The British are leaving, the British are leaving!

Fresh & Easy stores in Napa and beyond will soon be sold or closed, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

What are Napa shoppers saying about the news? Read their Facebook comments at Fresh & Easy Closing? Napa Shoppers React

Owned by Britain's Tesco, the 199-market grocery chain never quite caught on with American consumers.

Analysts said the recession was partly to blame—Fresh & Easy debuted in California, Nevada and Arizona in 2007, just as the economy was tanking. But, ultimately, shoppers didn't warm to the concept.

"Though it attracted a small group of loyalists, Fresh & Easy largely failed to capture the imagination of American consumers who proved unaccustomed to British-style ready meals, self-service cash registers and unfamiliar store layouts," the Journal said.

Tesco's CEO told the paper: "It's likely, but not certain, that our presence in America will come to an end."

Offers to buy all or part of the chain are already trickling in, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresh & Easy's locations include Mountain View, Pacifica, Napa, Sunnyvale, two in Hayward and three each in San Jose and San Francisco.

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Ash Leigh December 05, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Honestly, have you been in that store? It's way less expensive than Safeway and Raleys. Plus, I got weekly emails for $3, $5 and $10 off coupons. They also had a points card with a monetary reward. I saved a lot of money with them. F&E also has their own bakery and the cheese and meat are always fresh.
Scott Yeager December 05, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Nothing would make me happier. Unfortunately I doubt the population of Napa is big for them to put two stores in this town. Everywhere I have lived since 1990 has had a Trader Joe's. I am used to having one around.
Scott Yeager December 05, 2012 at 11:44 PM
And to think someone got paid a lot of money to write that non-statement statement.
Ash Leigh December 06, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Sheesh. Napa is 5 miles long. I've live in cities 5 times larger than this. Does it really bother some of the locals to drive 10 minutes to the other side of town?
Joanna W. December 06, 2012 at 07:27 AM
Esiul/louise... its not the driving across town. It is the horrendous parking lot over there! While I dont mind the drive it would be nice to have one on this side of town regardless. It is a great store: friendly.staff, great food, and awesome prices.
Logans Runner December 06, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I'm glad Mr. Wilson has remembered FICA is going to be raised a lot as of January 1, 2013. We'll have to adjust our budgets.
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" December 06, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I would like to ask a side question to the comments. Why is Walmart hated so much. Scott made the comment Walmart sucks as a corporation and store why? I find the stores to be Clean and low priced. I also know somone working there she is not unhappy with her job. Are there real problems with Walmart?
Logans Runner December 06, 2012 at 05:21 PM
PS We all get to pay the new Obamacare taxes come January 1, 2013 also.
Scott Yeager December 06, 2012 at 05:24 PM
You're kidding right? Do some research. Employees on public assistance is a good place to start.
Robin Horton December 06, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Well, let's see - the stores at Walmart are usually dirty, the employees are usually unfriendly and the products are crap ie they fall apart within months of purchase. I won't set foot in a Walmart unless I have to. Fresh and Easy is a nice store just not close enough to one and they don't have enough products but they are reasonably priced. The coupons they send out are great and they have a rewards program. One of the reasons I stopped shopping at Lucky's because they no longer have a rewards program.
Scott Yeager December 06, 2012 at 05:42 PM
FICA taxes are the Social Security and Medicare taxes paid by individuals and employers. The total FICA tax through 2010 is 15.3%. That percentage is applied to the employee's gross pay. Here is the breakdown on these taxes: •The employer and employee each pay 7.65%. Breaking these percentages down further: •The OASDI (Social Security) portion is 6.2% (4.2% in 2011), up to the annual maximum wages subject to Social Security. •The Medicare portion is 1.4% on all employee earnings. The Social Security portion is capped each year at a set amount; the Medicare portion is not capped. For 2011 only the employee portion of FICA tax has been reduced by 2%. The employer portion is not reduced. http://biztaxlaw.about.com/od/glossaryf/a/FICAtax.htm
Kristina D. December 06, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I would LOVE to see a Nugget market or something similar. I think the building would be a bit too big for a TJs, no?
Scott Yeager December 06, 2012 at 05:58 PM
And they pay their employees low wages and aren't treated well. You would be unfriendly also. It's a reflection of their work environment and management. Notice how much better employees are at Costco? They are paid more and treated better.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Facebook comments on this topic have been pouring in as well - read a round-up at http://napavalley.patch.com/articles/fresh-easy-closing-napa-readers-react
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 06, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Go Scott!...
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 06, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Esiuol/Louise, with today's horrific traffic driving 5 miles across Napa has become equivalent to driving 10 or more miles across larger towns. Are you saying that you would have no issue driving 10 miles across Sacramento to shop at TJ's?
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 06, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Go have a look at the "product recall" board in Customer Service of the Napa WalMart. 80% (or more) of the products sold by WalMart on the recall board are children's products. Their lack of concern to purchase quality (and safe) children's products from reliable manufacturers is only one example of how this corporation is operated.
Renee Cazares December 06, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Yay Scott.. love your comments and your input.
Ash Leigh December 06, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Steve - I use to have to drive 20 minutes to get to a grocery store, on a freeway no less. I don't mind driving across town in Napa, less miles.
Ash Leigh December 06, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Two things I don't like about the Napa Walmart (only one I've been to in the Bay Area) is their produce and meats. Their produce is either way over ripe and sometimes going bad (shouldn't even had been in the bids, I've picked up rotten avocados) or picked way too early and extremely hard. I can't buy produce there and eat it the same day. Their "fresh" meats look horrible! Steak is suppose to be red, not gray. else.
Art Morris December 07, 2012 at 05:53 AM
I'm forced to shop at Walmart because the Democrats destroyed the economy and I lost my business and house. I wish I had the luxury of being able to shop somewhere else which offer the selection and low prices.
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" December 07, 2012 at 06:26 AM
I would have to think that Walmarts success is customer driven. Low pay and a bad work environment is still the choice of the employee, In the form if staying and working there. Like Scott Yeager who votes with his hard earned money not to shop there. He is supporting a local retail enviroment. If we all follow scotts lead we could put a dent in Walmart .I just do not think most shoppers have the want and willingness. To pay more to support "Mom and Pop"
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" December 07, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Unfiltered Steve Toy and Product recalls seem to be a growing problem in this Country. I would think Walmarts insurance company. Would regulate that part of there business better.
Art Morris December 07, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Well said Michael. If someone doesn't like Walmart, they don't have to shop there and can tell their friends. Those of us who do shop at Walmart do so and also tell our friends. So, free speech and free enterprise both win.
Art Morris December 07, 2012 at 06:49 AM
Walmart is the only store where I've seen them post the recalls. Most other stores you have to ask to see it.
Scott Yeager December 07, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Walmart reality: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-05/five-wal-mart-vendors-made-clothes-at-burned-bangladesh-factory.html http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-24/wal-mart-bribe-probe-follows-decade-of-sex-bias-overtime-suits.html http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/business/wal-mart-concedes-bribery-case-may-widen.html?pagewanted=all http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/WHD20120801.htm
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" December 07, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Ok Scott hypothetical situation here Walmart is the worst thing ever, Besides the beatles and KC and the sunshine band. We can not blame walmart for the demise if Downtown Napa, It was gone long before Walmart Napa was here. I get the vocal minoritys point. I just do not see how Walmart can do so well if it is so bad. I found a anti Walmart documentry on HULU I have not had time to watch yet. Let me go learn somthing.
Art Morris December 08, 2012 at 04:42 AM
That's tragic Scott. Have any info on how I can get some of that free Obama money so I can start another business so I don't have to shop at Walmart?
Michael Portillo January 11, 2013 at 11:36 PM
How did we get on to Walmart. This is about Fresh & Easy and the possible void it will leave if they close. It is a great store selling great value fresh healthy products. Something very radical here.
vocal-de-local January 12, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Trader Joes is packed almost all of the time. Parking is pretty bad. If they located one on the south side of town, it might redirect people to shop over there. I think Napa can support two Trader Joes stores, although it does take business away from the bigger chains such as Safeway and Raley's.

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