Fresh & Easy sold; Bakersfield stores expected to stay open

Fresh & Easy sold; Bakersfield stores expected to stay open

LONDON (AP) — Tesco, Britain's largest retailer by sales, has agreed to sell 150 of its lossmaking Fresh & Easy stores in the United States to a U.S. investment firm.

The company said Tuesday that the deal with Yucaipa Companies does not include 50 further stores, which will be closed in the coming weeks.

Bakersfield has four Fresh & Easy stores. Workers at two stores told Eyewitness News in an unofficial capacity that all Bakersfield stores will remain open. Workers at the other two stores declined comment. One worker said an official list of stores that will remain open should be available within a couple days.

Eyewitness News has no indication whether stores in Wasco and Delano will remain open.

Nonetheless, Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said more than 4,000 jobs will be protected by the sale.

Tesco said in April it planned to sell its U.S. stores, which were based in Arizona, California and Nevada. At the time, the company said its U.S. foray had lost it some 1.2 billion pounds ($1.8 billion).

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KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News contributed to this report.