WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Raley's here said last week it will close its two stores in Las Cruces, N.M., in the next few weeks -- though it said it has no intentions of leaving the Albuquerque market.
rque and the two in Las Cruces.
"We had to take the New Mexico stores if we wanted the Las Vegas stores," Carolyn Konrad, a Raley's spokeswoman, told SN. "But we've fallen in love with Albuquerque, and we are checking out additional store sites with the intention of growing there.
"But we weren't going to be able to grow in Las Cruces, which is 250 to 300 miles from Albuquerque and which presented quite a distribution challenge," Konrad said.
That situation was made worse by a new elevated highway that cut off visibility from the road of one of the two Las Cruces stores and also made access to the store difficult, Konrad added.
"That cut into the store's volume significantly and proved to be an insurmountable problem," Konrad said.
Raley's intends to close the two stores, she said.
The closings will affect 129 store employees, who Konrad said are being offered severance packages or the option to transfer to other Raley's stores in Albuquerque. In addition, if any employees are willing to move to Las Vegas or Reno, Nev., or to northern California, Raley's will offer relocation support, she said.