Shoppers upset about La Quinta Ralph's closing in July

Shoppers upset about La Quinta Ralph's closing in July

LA QUINTA, Calif. - "Why?? No! What about us?" said La Quinta Cove resident Shaun Howe, recalling her reaction when she found out the grocery store she shops at everyday will close next month. "We need our store you can't close it."

For nearly two decades the Ralph's has served thousands of homes in the La Quinta Cove community. People who live here say it's the convenience they'll miss most.

"I come here three to four times a week, when I need milk or butter I just walk over," said shopper Jaron Jasso.

"Maybe I'm in the middle of cooking and I need that one other item that onion or bell pepper. It's two minutes for me, I go here and I'll continue cooking and I'll have a decent dinner at a decent time," said shopper Larry Baker.

The next closest grocery store in La Quinta is the Stater Bros on Highway 111, about three miles away. Not a huge trek, but locals say it's far enough to make a difference in their daily routine.

"It may only be three miles but if you sat through the 14 lights to get there it's valuable time you want to spend at home with your family," Howe said.

There's a Ralph's that's closer, on Jefferson Street, but that's in Indio, meaning the city of La Quinta could lose crucial sales tax revenue.

"I know the other Ralph's store is closer than that but this is so convenient because you can do so many things with one stop," said shopper Jerry Prisberey.

The closure will also hurt dozens of employees who face layoffs.

"I know people would be probably losing their jobs because it's hard to get everybody transferred, so it's kind of heartbreaking," Baker said.

Ralph's is owned by the Cincinatti-based Kroeger Co., which is the second largest general retailer in the U.S. behind Wal-Mart. The supermarket giant is staying tight-lipped about why the Ralph's is closing, and what if anything will take its place.
Reps for the company didn't return our calls or e-mails, neither did the developer who owns the space, The Summit Team.

"That's our concern, we don't know what's happening, we haven't been told much," Howe said.

We spoke with La Quinta Mayor Pro Tem, Lee Osbourne, who said the city reached out to Kroeger's to find out the challenges facing this location and see if it can help.

It's also still waiting to hear back.

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