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.