As protesters were planning a rally at the Ralphs market on the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Western Avenue on Thursday, June 13, the grocery company was putting the final touches on the “grand re-opening” of another supermarket in Baldwin Hills at 5080 Rodeo Road.
The new store is set to open on June 21, the same day the Ralphs at Martin Luther King and Western is set to close.
According to the company, the remodeled Ralphs includes $18 million in renovations, a 21,000-square-foot expansion and major remodeling plus a wide range of fresh, organic and natural meats, produce and seafood
“Ralphs worked closely with Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson's office, community organizations and its customers to determine which new and expanded offerings, services and products would best meet its shoppers' needs,” said spokesperson Kendra Doyel. “Since 2010, Ralphs has invested about $65 million in its supermarkets in and around the Baldwin Hills community.”
But why close the other Ralphs, which is about two miles away?
“It has been underperforming for a very long time,” said Doyel, who said there would be “no loss of jobs.” In fact, she said there would be 40 new jobs in the Baldwin Hills store.
The remodeled Baldwin Hills Ralphs has been expanded to approximately 60,000 square feet, and will offer “a full range of products and services,” said the company’s press information, including a bakery, a full-service delicatessen and a floral department.
The store will be served by a free shuttle that will run throughout the neighborhood on a regular schedule.
Ralphs officials, store associates and local dignitaries will participate in the re-opening ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Dorsey High School drum corps will perform, and other special events include character appearances, product giveaways and samplings and raffle drawings through the weekend.
The celebration will include the presentation of $7,500 in grants from Ralphs to local community partners and schools, including Dorsey High School, Audubon Middle School and Baldwin Hills Elementary School.