Due to financial problems, the Fresh & Easy grocery store, located on Figueroa Street and Jefferson Boulevard, is scheduled to close in late November. The South L.A. store, which has been in business for over five years, is one of several hundred Fresh & Easy stores to close across the West Coast due to the company’s recent bankruptcy.
Many students who rely on the store because of its selection, proximity to campus and long hours were upset to hear it would be closing. “Fresh & Easy had a very specific niche that it focused on — their ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals were ideal for a busy student’s life,” said Sagar Miglani, a senior majoring in computer science and business administration. “It was a favorite amongst USC students.”
Miglani, like many other students, lives in University Gateway Apartments, which is located in the same building as Fresh & Easy.
“Fresh & Easy was the store I would stop by regularly at on my way to class, either for water or for a meal,” he said.
Part of Fresh & Easy’s appeal, other than its easily accessible groceries, was that it was open 24 hours a day.
“[Now], my access to late-night groceries are limited, at least temporarily,” said Nimarta Singh, a junior majoring in international relations and the global economy.
Singh, like Miglani, also lives in Gateway, and will be affected highly by this change.
“Fresh & Easy was one of the main reasons I chose to live in Gateway,” she said. “I know many USC students are unhappy and a little disconcerted.”
Students who live on campus, such as Zora Kidron, a freshman majoring in art history, are also disappointed by the closing of the store.
“Fresh & Easy is one of the few 24-hour establishments near campus, and its closure will represent a significant inconvenience for me,” Kidron said.
Fresh & Easy’s bankruptcy also adversely affects employees, said Fresh & Easy employee Shannyn Eddings.
“For most [employees], this is their main job or their only job,” Eddings said. “So now, they have to start over because there are no jobs.”
Eddings added that because of the company’s financial situation, employees are not receiving severance pay.
“We’re [just] getting our last checks and our [paid/personal time off]. If you haven’t saved up your PTO, that’s nothing,” she said.