British supermarket giant Tesco had high hopes for a U.S. expansion when it launched its first Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market in 2007, but now the hope is at an end.
Tesco announced it is looking to sell all 200 Fresh & Easy stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, and will likely exit the U.S. market entirely, according the Los Angeles Times. Tim Mason, CEO of Fresh and Easy, is also stepping down as Tesco explores its options for selling or shuttering the brand.
There are five Fresh & Easy stores in the region, in Arden Arcade, South Sacramento, Elk Grove, El Dorado Hills and Lincoln.
Earlier this year, Fresh & Easy opened its first store in the region, eventually adding five stores, in Sacramento's Arden Arcade, South Sacramento, Elk Grove, Folsom and Lincoln, with plans to add a store in Oak Park.
According to the grocery and retailing analyst blog Fresh & Easy Buzz, Tesco has been searching informally for buyers for some time. Aldi and Dollar General are among the buyers that might be interested, Fresh & Easy Buzz said.
Fresh & Easy locations run from about 10,000 to 15,000 square feet.