KROGER TO CLOSE BAKERSFIELD RALPHS STORES e, a division of Cincinnati-based Kroger, said last week it will close its three stores in Bakersfield, Calif., effective March 6, because they are unprofitable. Chain officials said the closures have nothing to do with last year's 141-day strike-lockout in Southern California, noting the three stores have "a lengthy track record of unprofitability." The company said it's in discussions to sell the three stores to other operators. Bakersfield is ...

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