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Ralphs Confirms Closure of California Oaks Road Store

A spokeswoman for Ralphs Grocery Company confirmed the closure of the Murrieta store is slated for March because the store has been "underperforming for quite some time."

Ralphs grocery store at 40545 California Oaks Road in Murrieta will close in March, a company spokesperson said. (Photo/Maggie Avants)
Ralphs grocery store at 40545 California Oaks Road in Murrieta will close in March, a company spokesperson said. (Photo/Maggie Avants)

The decision to close Ralphs grocery store at 40545 California Oaks Road in Murrieta appears to be one of finality.

A spokeswoman for Ralphs Grocery Company confirmed the store will close in March due to lackluster revenues.

“We never take these decisions lightly, and always exhaust every option before taking this step,” wrote Kendra Doyel in an emailed response to Patch.

The Ralphs representative said that despite efforts, the store “has been underperforming for quite some time.”

While Doyel did not say what would become of the employees of the store, one of the affected workers told Patch the company was working to transfer them to nearby Ralphs locations.

Hannah, a part-time “combo clerk” who works registers and as a courtesy clerk, said she learned of the store’s fate when management called a meeting in early January.

“We were told that we would unfortunately be closing, that the store hasn’t been making money,” said Hannah, who preferred not to give Patch her last name.

Hannah went on to say that she “loves her store and her company,” and understands the decision.

Despite hearing rumors of a possible petition drive to keep the store open, Hannah was of the impression the decision was final.

“There was only so much loss they could take,” she said.

But Hannah said she will miss the regular customers, many whom come from the nearby Colony retirement community and Amanda Park, a senior citizen apartment complex in the vicinity.

Customers such as Pat, who said she has been shopping at the Ralphs ever since she moved The Colony 17 years ago.

“This is going to affect a lot of us,” said Pat, who also preferred that her last name not be publicized.

There is something to be said about seeing the same faces day in and day out, she said.

“I have seen employees come, seen them go, seen them retire,” Pat said.

When the store closes, Pat said she will likely shop more at Stater Bros. on Hancock Avenue and Farmstead Market on Kalmia Street.

She said she may also drive the few miles to Ralphs at 23801 Washington Street in Murrieta.

“I do like Ralphs, they have great coupons,” Pat said.

The company did not immediately respond to a question about whether any other local Ralphs were in jeopardy of closing.

There are also Ralphs at 40473 Murrieta Hot Springs Road and 40473 Alta Murrieta Drive in Murrieta, as well as two on Temecula Parkway in Temecula.

The impending closure of the store on California Oaks Road follows that of other underperforming Ralphs throughout Southern California within the last few years, such as in Anaheim Hills, Brea, Corona, Moreno Valley and other cities.

Ralphs Grocery Company is owned by The Kroger Co., which operates more than 2,400 supermarkets and department stores, such as Food 4 Less, in 31 states.

According to a Jan. 20 announcement, a merger between The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) (“Kroger”) and North Carolina-based Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. (NYSE: HTSI) (“Harris Teeter”), was pending.

Steve Newman January 21, 2014 at 04:22 PM
And who first brought this to the patchs attention- me.
JJ Mclure January 21, 2014 at 04:34 PM
that what overpaid union wages cause
Philip rivers January 21, 2014 at 04:35 PM
Maybe if there prices weren't so high they could compete with the other matkets..FYI Super target is wayyyy cheaper than anywhere in town ..
ChrisG January 21, 2014 at 04:41 PM
@ Steve, not even an honorable mention in the article? WTF? Luckily there is an Albertsons about a half mile away and a Stater Bros. about a mile away to service those Ralph's shoppers.
Steve Newman January 21, 2014 at 04:54 PM
ChrisG- yeah- oh well. One of the things I liked about Ralphs was the .10 a gallon off at Shell after $100 purchases.And the people were great and friendly. Albertsons does not offer the same- gas discounts and friendly people. Wonder if albertsons prices are going to go up?
M. Lee Davis January 21, 2014 at 07:40 PM
@Steve- yeah- oh well. There is always the one on Washington and the one on Alta Murrieta!!
Alek J Hidell January 21, 2014 at 08:56 PM
some idiot executive decided to split up the groceries with 4 aisles for toilet and kitchen stuff RIGHT in the middle....its all overpriced and twice the price of Target, but they are thinking you will grab it when you pass.... this results in a lot of walking and searching, and soon the customers leave exhausted.
LM January 21, 2014 at 10:11 PM
This makes me sad...I shop at this store several times a week. It's on my way home, the people are great there and while some prices are high its nothing outrageous - I've walked out of Albertson's when more than a few items were so inflated that it annoyed me enough to just leave. That has yet to happen at Ralphs - I buy their sale items and they tend to have the things I buy on sale often. The one on Washington is way too far, its way too crowded & the staff is not nearly as personable as the Cal Oaks store. The parking sucks at Staters and their prices are only so-so. You would think they would see if the new McDonalds would bring more traffic to the center. I'm not sure where all of these super Target deals are hiding (other than tolietries) because every time I have been there its the same as any grocery store & it's not conveniently located for many in the city either. Heck, if I have to drive 15 min to get to the store I might as well head to Food 4 Less or Winco in Temecula. This news really blows and ruined my evening. Bah :-(
my comment January 22, 2014 at 12:56 AM
Oh no, where am I going to find avocados for $2 each now?
Don Lambert January 23, 2014 at 06:06 AM
Ralph's prices are lower than Albertson's for the things I purchase. Each item is 50 cents to one dollar higher At Albertson's. I will miss having the store there. However what I buy is about the same at Stater's and I go by Staters frequently anyway. However I feel sympathy for all those elderly persons that shop there and do not drive much or walk to the store.
Don Lambert January 23, 2014 at 06:13 AM
Super Target charges under $3.50 each for frozen Amy's products that are priced closer to $5.50 each both Ralph's, and Albertson's and the health food stores. Winco also is under $3.50 on these but stocks only 3 flavors.
Don Lambert January 23, 2014 at 06:16 AM
It is interesting to know that the same company that owns Ralph's chain also owns "Food for Less" chain and sells many of the same items for a lower price.
Jeff Kleiner January 23, 2014 at 02:22 PM
Don for corporations here in America it's all about the dollar, remember CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE TOO.......RIGHT???
Jen F January 30, 2014 at 11:54 AM
Too bad it's not Albertsons. I've never encountered a more rude bunch of employees EVER!!! And their prices are ridiculously high. As a smart shopper and mother of 3, Ralph's has better deals on some produce than Target or Stater Bros. it was nice for a convenient, quick trip but not feasible for major grocery shopping!
M. Lee Davis January 30, 2014 at 11:59 AM
ok let me set the record straight, my mother just retired after working for Ralphs for almost 30 years. she can tell you first hand that they are about the most expensive grocery store out there.in fact she did most of her shopping at stater brothers. Ralphs prices are only good occasionally and only if you use their club card. If you go to stater brothers you never need a club cards and their prices on everything is going to be cheaper. Why do you think the parking lot at stater Brothers is always so crowded.
Deirdre April 01, 2014 at 05:49 PM
Now we have another empty building :/
Andy the Analyst April 02, 2014 at 03:07 AM
There is a recycle place BEHIND the former Ralph's store that recently started up. It is not related to the Ralph's store so it is still operating. Now I do not have to drive to the one by Albertson's as this one is closer.

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