Ralphs Announces Permanent Store Closures

Mar 17, 2004, 00:00 ET from Ralphs Grocery Company

    LOS ANGELES, March 17 /PRNewswire/ --  Ralphs Grocery Company today
 announced plans to permanently close 15 underperforming Ralphs supermarkets in
 Southern California within the next 60 days.  The store closures are not
 related to the recently resolved Southern California supermarket labor
     Ralphs made the decision to permanently close the 15 stores following its
 annual review of its supermarket operation.  Each of the stores slated for
 closure has experienced declining sales over an extended period of time.
     "We are taking these steps after extensive and careful review," said John
 Burgon, president of Ralphs.  "The closing of these stores is a difficult but
 necessary step toward a better, more competitive Ralphs in Southern
 California.  None of these stores generates enough sales, nor has enough
 customers, to pay for the increasing cost of their operation.  Closing these
 stores will help us operate more efficiently and position Ralphs for the next
 generation of growth by better serving our customers."
     The closing of the 15 stores will result in the reassignment of
 approximately 600 associates.  The company intends to place associates in
 other stores where possible.  Ralphs will be working closely with associates
 to ease their transition.
     "We are concerned for the well-being of our associates and will do
 everything we can to ensure a smooth transition for them," said Burgon.
 "We're taking every step to ensure we can provide them with continued
     The stores to be closed are located at:
      *  6336 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim Hills
      *  15727 Bernardo Heights Parkway, Bernardo Heights
      *  2465 E. Imperial Highway, Brea
      *  2959 Chino Avenue, Chino Hills
      *  1058 E. 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista
      *  1212 Magnolia Avenue, Corona
      *  14310 S. Hawthorne Boulevard, Lawndale
      *  2716 San Fernando Road, Los Angeles
      *  632 Lindero Canyon Road, Oak Park
      *  4869 S. Bradley Road, Orcutt
      *  829 Oak Park Boulevard, Pismo Beach
      *  8815 E. Valley Boulevard, Rosemead
      *  8788 Navajo Road, San Diego
      *  829 W. Foothill, Upland
      *  15471 Brookhurst Avenue, Westminster
     To inform consumers, Ralphs is undertaking a comprehensive information
 campaign in connection with the closings.  Customers in areas affected by the
 store closures will be informed of other nearby Ralphs locations.
     Ralphs Grocery Company was founded in 1873 and currently operates more
 than 340 supermarkets under the Ralphs, Bell Markets and Cala Foods banners in
 California, from its headquarters in Los Angeles.  The company is a division
 of The Kroger Co., (NYSE:   KR), one of the nation's largest food retailers,
 based in Cincinnati, Ohio.  For more information about Ralphs, please visit
 our web site at www.ralphs.com .

SOURCE Ralphs Grocery Company