Grocery chain Fresh & Easy is closing and selling 30 stores in Southern California, including five in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County. The move by the El Segundo chain is being pursued to finance development of smaller convenience stores ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet. The company is working with ADMI Inc., a Morgan Hill company that assisted Apple Inc. in designing its retail stores, on the convenience concept. In total, the chain is selling about 50 of the 167 stores it operates in California, Nevada, and Arizona. The move was first announced in a video featuring Chief Executive Jim Keyes posted at the Fresh & Easy YouTube channel over the weekend. The video has since been removed. “Instead of paying to keep stores open that are not ultimately part of the future, in places that we have little chance of profit, we think that we can turn that cash into investment in new stores,” Keyes said in the video, according to a report in the Orange County Register. Stores to be closed in the San Fernando Valley are at Tampa Avenue and Nordhoff Street in Northridge, and Foothill Boulevard and Pali Avenue in Tujunga. In Ventura County, stores will close at Lindero Canyon Road and Kanan Road, Agoura Hills; Wendy Drive and Old Conejo Road, Newbury Park; and Arneill Road and Las Posas Road, Camarillo. Locations will remain in Burbank, Encino, Van Nuys, Sylmar, Granada Hills, North Hollywood, Simi Valley and Moorpark. Fresh & Easy opened its first stores in California in 2007 when owned by Tesco Plc, the giant U.K. grocer. The company entered a highly competitive grocery store market that included Ralphs, Vons and Walmart, as well as specialty chains such as Trades Joe’s of Monrovia. Having struggled financially and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the chain was finally sold by Tesco in 2013 to Yucaipa Cos., the L.A. private investment firm owned by billionaire Ron Burkle. Yucaipa’s acquisitions over the years have included the Food 4 Less, Alpha Beta, Ralphs and Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. grocery chains.