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Fresh & Easy begins closing down stores

Fresh & Easy, the West Coast supermarket chain that was part of UK retail giant Tesco's ill-fated foray in the U.S., has begun to close down its stores and wind down its business, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Brendan Wonnacott, spokesman for the El Segundo chain, told the LA Times that Fresh & Easy did not have enough cash and couldn't obtain financing to continue operating the business.

The company operates 97 stores in California, Nevada and Arizona. The Southland is home to 54 locations. Industry experts told the LA Times that the chain could soon file for bankruptcy protection.

Tesco, one of the world's largest retailers in terms of sales, launched the Fresh & Easy chain in the U.S. in 2007 but by 2013 it decided to pull out at the cost of several billion dollars, saying it was "just going to take too long" to become profitable.

In the end Tesco ended up lending investor Ron Burkle $120 million to take over running of the store.

You can read the full article here.

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