Friday, October 28, 2016

Wal-Mart or Trader Joe’s? What’s in store for the Glassell Park Fresh & Easy?

It’s official. The British owners of the Fresh & Easy announced today they will sell or close the five-year-old grocery chain, taking a $1.8 billion write-off in the process, according to the L.A. Times. That means  the Fresh & Easy on Eagle Rock Boulevard in Glassell Park, one of the chain’s first stores, will become empty space for a while or be quickly taken over by another chain.   Fresh & Easy had also begun the process of  preparing to open an outlet in Echo Park last year before  that effort stalled as Tesco, the chain’s British parent, began exploring the possibility of losing down the money-losing operation.  

Tesco, in a financial report issued today,  confirmed it’s “exit from the United States” as part of its strategic review and “indications of interest received from third parties”  for the 200-store Fresh & Easy operation. Who might those third parties be? Some have speculated that likely buyers might include Wal-Mart, which is preparing to open a small neighborhood market in Chinatown, or the favorite of every up-and-coming neighborhood and suburb, Trader Joe’s. Stay tuned.

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  1. Let’s hope the Silver Lake-based Quirky Quorum Markets go in those spaces.

  2. This is really bad news! Fresh & Easy is what I was living on when I lived in San Gabriel Valley. I was really looking forward to a new store in Echo Park. Some stores seem to be really busy, like in Hollywood. Others stores are just in the wrong location and don’t do too well. As a single person, their prices are so much cheaper than most stores. Even Trader Joe’s! 🙁

  3. Would be a perfect place for a sprouts…so much more fresh produce at reasonable prices…

  4. I’ll miss their no-STP-added scallops and grilled tuna salad, as that is about all I ever bought at “Fresh & Creepy.”

    • Just researched & learned about the use of STP in scallops after reading your post. Thanks! I make sure to purchase ‘dry’ scallops from now on…

  5. I can confirm Trader Joe’s will not be purchasing this property.

  6. They always had Many customers there. Was the store mismanaged? What a bummer!

  7. There’s already a TJ’s right down the street on Colorado.

    Wal Mart would suck.

    I haven’t read much detail, but it seems like this article is way oversimplifying things. Why isn’t the chain remaining open with a different owner an option? Or why aren’t they discussing real estate investment funds as possible buyers? Seems like the most obvious candidate to me given their locations…

  8. Fresh and Easy issued a statement today that none of the stores are closing, and there are several interested buyers that want to keep the stores open. File this article under “jumping the gun.”


  9. NOOOOOOO I love Fresh and Easy

  10. That sucks! I love Fresh & Easy! 🙁

  11. Just like CNN.

  12. Rest in Peace, Fresh & Easy’s Chilé & Limon Rolled Tortilla chips. Your delightfully uncompromised snackiliciousness coupled to your off-the-charts flavorosity will be mourned and missed.

  13. Is Wal-mart a real possibility? That would be terrible. How about a Whole Foods? That makes more sense than TJ”s-which is already close by on Colorado…..

  14. It would be interesting if they divided up the space and allowed a few different markets/small restaurants to inhabit the space. Mitsuwa Market in Gardena seems to have done that. There could be a main supermarket in the middle, with two or three restaurants around the periphery.

  15. Seems the commenters are conflating two opposite possibilities. Tesco wants to sell F & E as a whole, so it would be up to the buyer which stores remained open. If the buyer closed the Eagle Rock store, or Tesco couldn’t sell F & E, then the Eagle Rock store space would be available for something else. theastsider speculates about TJ’s or Walmart, but has no real information – it’s just hyperlocal link bait.

    Note that the current F & E takes up a smaller space than the Albertsons it replaced. The windowless space next to it has had a sign in front it since F & E opened offering the space for lease. No co-tenant has yet decided to move into the space adjacent to the F & E. But the F & E space is significantly larger than most existing TJ’s, especially the close by Eagle Rock and Hyperion stores; and TJ’s just expanded the Eagle Rock store (probably in response to F & E). Also note that, despite much more rapid expansion in recent years, TJ’s is very careful about adding stores to the LA area. They post a list of new stores on their web site and rarely vary from their 2 to 5 year plan.

    Whole Foods likely considers that site outside of its demographic, at least for the next 5 years and, despite the gentrification of Highland Park and Glassell Park, hipster-demo stores like WF, Sprouts, etc are years away (as you might guess, considering even their progress in Echo Park/Silver Lake).

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