Ralphs Still Looking For SoCal Rebound

Discussion
Sep 15, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The grocery workers’ strike/lockout in Southern California has been over for months but Ralphs is still finding it tough getting back to where it was before pickets appeared outside the chain’s stores.


David Dillon, chairman and chief executive officer of Ralphs’ parent Kroger, said in prepared statement, “The marketplace remains very competitive. Ralphs is focused on improving identical food-store sales to pre-strike levels. Based on current conditions in the market, we believe our efforts to return sales and earnings to pre-strike levels will continue for the foreseeable future. Ralphs is executing the plan to rebuild our business.”


The plan to recapture sales, said Mr. Dillon, is to grow top-line sales by improving customers’ shopping experience. “We remain squarely focused on offering our customers the service, variety and product quality they expect in order to drive sustainable and profitable sales growth,” he said.


Moderator’s Comment: Has the business that deserted Ralphs and the other chains in the Southern California grocery workers strike/lockout left them for
good?


We wouldn’t suggest this is typical based on a single anecdote, but we know of one family that discovered during the strike that they could get everything
they needed from shopping at Costco and Trader Joe’s. They used to shop at Safeway.

George Anderson – Moderator

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