Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said the Cedar and Nees avenues store in Fresno would remain open. A Fresh & Easy spokesman later added the location to the list of local closures.
Three area Fresh & Easy stores are closing, bringing an end to the retailer’s presence in Fresno and Clovis.
Stores in Reedley and Lemoore will remain open. The chain is closing about 50 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.
The Fresno-area stores will close on or about April 3. The stores are at: Shaw and West avenues in Fresno; Cedar and Nees in Fresno; and Herndon and Fowler avenues in Clovis.
The small-format grocery stores started by British company Tesco were sold in 2013 to a new owner, Southern California-based Yucaipa Companies LLC.
After running the stores for about a year and half, the company “is now in a better position to rationalize its store base and divest locations that do not meet the criteria of Fresh & Easy’s model of modern convenience,” according to a statement issued Monday by Fresh & Easy.
The move allows the company to put money into development and growth of other stores. Fresh & Easy is working with ADMI, which designed Apple stores, to design the Fresh & Easy store of the future. Fresh & Easy is making several other changes and calling the stores that remain “fresh food convenience stores.”
Fresh & Easy is selling dozens of the stores, but it’s not clear if the Fresno-area stores are among them.
Spokesman Brendan Wonnacott said of the local stores, it’s “still early in the process of determining next steps of the locations so no news to report on who might be buying.”
The company once had at least seven stores in the central San Joaquin Valley, with stores in downtown Fresno, Shaw and Willow avenues in Clovis, on Cedar Avenue near Shields Avenue and one in Delano. All those stores have closed, with Grocery Outlet taking over the downtown store and plans for a library to open in the Cedar Avenue location.