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Kroger reportedly plans to sell or close all of its Northern California Ralphs stores.

Sources tell MNB that the chain has begun informing its Northern California employees about its plans.

One local expert tells the Sacramento Bee that it is “only a matter of when, not if.”

Ralph's spokesman Terry O'Neil tells the Bee, "We don't comment on rumors," he says.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) tells the Santa Cruz Sentinel that it has only heard rumors of the impending sale, and that the company has not confirmed them.

These reports come as Albertsons continues to negotiate for the sale of its various assets around the country, and as Wal-Mart continues to put pressure on virtually anyone with which it competes.
KC's View:
For the record, we called Kroger about these rumors on Monday, and the company only would say that it was up to Ralphs officials to comment on what essentially is a local story.

So we called Ralphs’ Terry O’Niel, and were told by his office that only Kroger corporate headquarters could comment on such a story.

Hmmm. All this while we were talking to people who knew specifically about Northern California employees being informed of the sales and closures.

You wonder why companies tend to lose a little credibility with the media. Confirm, deny, or say “no comment.” But don’t give folks like us a runaround.