A petition launched on change.org to keep Fresh & Easy stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada from closing now has more than 500 signatures. The effort also has a Facebook page.
A petition has been started to try and save grocery store chain Fresh & Easy.
A San Jose man named Adrian Young launched the petition on change.org. So far 39 supporters have signed, including several from the Inland Empire.
“Fresh and Easy has a niche market; if these stores were to go they would be missed,” Young wrote. “Most of all as many as 5,000 US jobs would be lost.”
Close to 200 stores employ people in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. The company opened its first stores in Northern California, San Francisco, and the Bay Area in March 2011.
Young plans to have the petition forwarded to Tesco, the British parent company of the market chain.
Last week, Tesco announced that it had brought in an outside investment banking firm to review the company’s finances and contended that the company’s struggles make it necessary to put all options on the table, including closing stores.
“We’re considering all options for the business, but it’s likely that the review will lead to Tesco exiting the US market,” CEO Philip Clarke wrote in a blog on the company’s website.
Clarke pointed to the recession as a major reason why the chain has struggled.
“It feels like a long time ago now, but when Tesco announced plans to open a business on the west coast of the US in 2006, the global economy was flying; not even the brightest economists in the world could foresee the unprecedented crisis in the markets about to engulf the world,” he said.
“But when it hit, it hit hard. And those states in the US where we were trying to build a presence – California, Nevada and Arizona – were particularly affected by the sub-prime crisis. Launching Fresh & Easy in the world’s most competitive retail market was never going to be easy, but the economic backdrop made the task twice as hard.”
Customers who signed Young’s petition said they rely on Fresh & Easy and would hate to see the markets close.
Fresh & Easy is the only local market in area that has good quality affordable food,” wrote Marsha Zeller, an Ontario resident. “There is only one other market in our South Ontario area now.”
Tabitha Basye, a Yucaipa resident, commented that she needs to shop where it isn’t too busy because of medical conditions.
“The music is low, they are rarely crowded, about the same price as Stater Brothers but the produce is a bit pricey,” she said.
Patch readers also weighed in.
“F&E is a British based company, and those of us familiar with European tastes find the store interesting, but here's the problem: not quite big enough to give the feeling of the freshest quality, best prices, and not quite hip enough to make a dent in the Trader Joe's niche. It's just NOT COOL ENOUGH,” Gabriela Klein wrote on Diamond Bar-Walnut Patch.
Patch reader Robert Corona also shared some thoughts.
“Will miss it... convenient little place. Always hit it when I go to CVS...,” he wrote. “It’s in a good location, right next to the fitness place. You can gouge and go work it off. Hope it stays... Doubt it though. Most of em bleeding to death.”