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.