'Fresh & Easy' gives layoff notices, prepares for closing and sale

- Owners of the financially struggling Fresh & Easy grocery chain announced today plans to "wind down'' the business as it looks for a buyer of all or part of the company.

The El Segundo-based company did not provide a timeline for store closures or numbers of how many workers will lose their jobs.

"Over the last two years, we have been working hard to build a new Fresh & Easy,'' according to the company. "While we made progress on stemming our losses and moving the business closer to break-even, unfortunately we have been unable to obtain financing and the liquidity necessary to continue to fund the business going forward.

"As we start the process for an organized wind down of the business, we continue to work to sell all or part of the business.'' 

The company operates nearly 100 stores in three states, with more than half of them in the Southern California area.

Citing an anonymous company source, the news media reported that stores will be closed over the next few weeks, and about 3,000 employees have already received layoff notices.

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