Remember when Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market said it was giving up the food fight? Remember when the British grocery food chain said—around last year's holiday season, no less—that it was selling or closing its stores? Remember when the San Diego attorney general found Fresh & Easy's pricing a bit troubling?
Well, forget all that.
The management of the Tesco-owned stores has mass-emailed the following:
Thank you for being a Friend of Fresh & Easy. We wanted to reach out to you to address numerous news and online reports about the future of our stores.
Our parent company Tesco is conducting a strategic review of Fresh & Easy—they're looking at all options to find the best outcome for the neighborhood market that you and we have come to love. While we don't know exactly what that outcome will be, or if Tesco will continue to own the company, we're confident that Fresh & Easy can continue to be your favorite market.
We want to assure you: we don't have plans to close stores. We're still committed to providing delicious, wholesome and affordable food every day. We're still Fresh & Easy; open for business with everything that you enjoy about our store, with even more exciting things to come. That's why we're going to keep on fighting the good food fight.
Now, more than ever, we appreciate your energy in our stores and being able to share a smile with you. We look forward to seeing you soon and thank you for your continued support.
For the Redlands-Loma Linda area, it's been more like who says Fresh & Easy is opening.
The planned market set for Redlands Boulevard and Mountain View Avenue in Loma Linda was supposed to have opened several years ago but remains shuttered.
"They built the store in their rapid expansion phase, in 2007 or 2008," said Konrad Bolowich, Loma Linda's economic development director, in December. "It is outfitted down to the cash registers, waiting for money to come in, and it was never opened. It was never occupied by another tenant."
However, others have expressed interest in opening businesses at that spot, which is considered a prime location, Bolowich said.
"We've had people interested in that site for other stores and we've directed them to Fresh & Easy," Bolowich said. "Their management has always told us they were intending to open that store, even after they removed the signage a year and a half ago."
If Tesco's optimism rings true, perhaps the Fresh & Easy Loma Linda location will open. The Yucaipa store, located at 33441 W. Yucaipa Boulevard, is open.