Ralphs to Open First Supermarket in Downtown Los Angeles in More Than 50 Years

Ralphs to present more than $700,000 in donations to downtown schools and

community organizations as part of grand opening

Jul 19, 2007, 01:00 ET from Ralphs Grocery Company

    LOS ANGELES, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Ralphs Grocery Company announces
 the opening of downtown Los Angeles' first modern, full-service supermarket
 on Friday, July 20. The store, featuring Ralphs' popular upscale Fresh Fare
 design, is located at 645 West 9th Street, between Flower and Olive
     The store will open to customers at 11 a.m., July 20, following a
 ribbon-cutting ceremony with downtown Los Angeles residents, community
 leaders and business leaders. As part of its grand opening festivities, the
 new downtown Los Angeles store will announce more than $700,000 in
 donations to several local organizations and schools. The largest grant of
 $500,000 will go to the Million Trees L.A. Foundation to fund the planting
 of trees throughout the City of Los Angeles. A $100,000 grant to the Los
 Angeles Regional Foodbank will also be announced during the store's grand
 opening celebration.
     The opening of the new 50,000 square-foot Downtown Ralphs Fresh Fare
 marks the successful conclusion of a private-public partnership between
 Ralphs Grocery Company, developer CIM Group and the City of Los Angeles to
 provide state-of-the-art supermarket service to downtown Los Angeles. The
 new Ralphs represents an important milestone in the revitalization of
 downtown Los Angeles, which has been without a full-service supermarket for
 more than 50 years.
     The opening also marks Ralphs return to downtown Los Angeles. Ralphs
 was founded in 1873 with a single store at Sixth and Spring Streets, just
 blocks from the new store. It's last downtown store, located at 7th and
 Figueroa, closed in 1950.
     "Ralphs is pleased to be the first full-service supermarket to serve
 the residents of downtown Los Angeles and we are proud to be a part of the
 ongoing redevelopment of downtown Los Angeles," said Dave Hirz, president
 of Ralphs Supermarkets. "We hope the opening of our new downtown
 supermarket will provide an impetus for further residential and business
 development in the area."
     The Downtown Ralphs Fresh Fare is a one-of-kind store offering expanded
 grocery, liquor and produce/floral departments, along with a full
 complement of specialty service departments.
     "This store is designed to be a one-stop shopping experience," Hirz
 said. "We believe it has everything a shopper could possibly want in a
     Customers visiting the new Downtown Ralphs Fresh Fare will enjoy an
 exciting assortment of very special offerings. These include an abundance
 of fresh and organic produce, a fully staffed meat department featuring the
 highest quality meats and fresh seafood, a bakery overflowing with aromas
 of freshly baked breads and gourmet desserts, and a wine cellar featuring a
 large selection premium wines, spirits and champagnes.
     As an added feature for customers on the go, or for those who simply
 want a break, the new store offers fresh sushi, a salad bar, a soup bar,
 and an extensive selection of ready-to-eat and heat-and-serve items. The
 state-of-the-art store also features an enhanced service delicatessen where
 shoppers will find an array of delicious entrees and side dishes that are
 prepared fresh daily and ready for takeout.
     For customers planning a special event, the new Fresh Fare store also
 offers a catering service that can arrange everything from floral
 decorations to deli and seafood platters to custom decorated cakes.
     The store also features a full-service Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf mini-cafe
 offering a full selection of freshly brewed traditional, dark and flavored
 coffees, whole leaf teas and Dutch hot chocolates.
     Customers will also enjoy the convenience of the store's full-service
 pharmacy and in-store dry cleaning service.
     The new Downtown Ralphs Fresh Fare will employ more than 180 full-time
 and part-time associates. About 100 staff members have been newly hired
 from the downtown community.
     Ralphs shoppers are sure to enjoy Store Director Art Postajian, who has
 been with Ralphs for more than 30 years. Art most recently managed a Ralphs
 in Malibu. His new team of service minded associates are ready to meet all
 of the needs of downtown residents.
     "I'm excited about the opportunity I've been given to open the first
 Ralphs in downtown Los Angeles," Postajian said. "We're excited and we're
 ready. We've been working very hard to get the store ready for our
 customers, and we're eager to serve their needs. We are committed to
 providing the downtown Los Angeles area with the finest products and
 services available."
     Ralphs was founded in 1873 and currently operates 2643 supermarkets 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
     (Editor's Note:  Store Fact Sheet to follow.)
     Ralphs Downtown Los Angeles Fresh Fare Store
                                Store Fast Facts
     Opening Date:         11 a.m. Friday, July 20, 2007
     Location:             9th & Flower Streets, Downtown Los Angeles
     Format:               Ralphs Fresh Fare
     Store Size:           50,553 square feet
     Construction Began:   2/19/07
     Store Director:       Art Postajian
     Store Associates:     180, including more than 100 new hires from the
                           downtown area.
     Store Hours:          5 a.m. - 1 a.m.
     Parking:              Underground (127 spaces)
     Store Features
     --  Produce Department
         More than 300 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, including a
         large selection of locally grown and organic produce.
     --  Meat Department
         Expanded meat department, including a full-service meat case.
     --  Seafood Department
         Full-service European-style seafood department, including a fresh
         sushi station
     --  Fresh Bakery
         Full selection of oven fresh breads and pastries, including the best
         from local bakeries.  Cake decorating is available.
     --  The Bistro
         A full-service carving station, including a delicious selection of
         ready-to-eat entrees for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
     --  Gourmet Cheese Island
         Features more than 100 varieties of gourmet cheeses from around the
         world. Staffed by our own trained Cheese Steward.
     --  Olive & Antipasti Bar
         A wide variety of fresh olives and Mediterranean-style foods.
     --  Wine Cellar
         Walk-in Wine Cellar stocked with the finest wines and staffed by
         Ralphs-own Fresh Fare Wine Steward.
     --  The Garden Floral Shoppe
         Offers a wide variety of fresh flowers, plants or custom-made
         arrangements. The Floral Shoppe is staffed by Ralphs own trained
         Floral Specialists.
     --  Pharmacy
         A complete heath care center offer prescription services,
         back-to-school immunizations, adult hepatitis shots and flu shots.
         Free blood pressure and blood sugar testing are also available.
     --  Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Cafe
         A full-service mini-cafe offering a full selection of freshly brewed
         traditional, dark and flavored coffees, whole leaf teas and Dutch hot
     --  Dry Cleaners
         Only Ralphs to offer customers the convenience of a full-service dry
     --  Catering
         Full-service catering offering everything from appetizers and entrees
         to gourmet cheese and dessert platters. Ralphs 9th & Flower is the
         first Ralphs to offer a dedicated Catering Coordinator.
     Community Matters (charitable giving)
     Ralphs and The Ralphs/Food 4 Less Foundation are donating $737,500 to
 local schools, community groups and nonprofits:
     --  Million Trees LA Foundation ($500,000)
     --  Los Angeles Regional Foodbank ($100,000)
     --  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles ($25,000)
     --  Los Angeles Boys & Girls Clubs ($25,000)
     --  Para Los Ninos ($25,000)
     --  LA's BEST ($25,000)
     --  spca Los Angeles ($25,000)
     --  Ninth Street Elementary School ($2,500)
     --  The Coburn School ($2,500)
     --  Little Tokyo Service Center ($2,500)
     --  Inner City Arts ($2,500)

SOURCE Ralphs Grocery Company