business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that the decision by Kroger to close a Ralphs store in the Pico-Robertson  neighborhood has drawn the ire of the area's large Jewish community, which says that the closure will have a negative impact because of its traditionally strong selection of Kosher products.

The story makes the point that the community is caught in the crosshairs of a political battle between Kroger and local lawmakers over mandated hazard pay for store employees.  City officials say that the high risks endured by grocery store employees and the higher-than-usual profits enjoyed by supermarket chains justify a $5 per hour pay boost while pandemic conditions persist;  Kroger says that this store - as well as several others in the market - were on the bubble before the hazard pay mandate, and now simply are not viable.

KC's View:

Kroger really wasn't given a choice by the lawmakers - closing stores was pretty much the only card it had to play when it wanted to protest the mandates.

I feel bad for these communities.  In the end, though, local folks also have to ask some serious questions of their elected officials, who pushed retailers into a corner.