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99 Ranch Market to replace Ralphs on East Main Street

Ralphs on 345 East Main is closing, said City Manager Mary Swink at a Feb. 23 City Council meeting. The market's lease will expire on April 1, at which point 99 Ranch Market will take up residency at the location. Swink said that the property manager and Ralphs could not come to an agreement about the cost of rent.
“The property owner then started getting bids from other grocery stores and they were able to get a bid from 99 Ranch Market," said Swink. She added that 99 Ranch Market's lease will start on April 1, and that they plan on opening in September or October. 
In the San Gabriel Valley, 99 Ranch Market has locations in San Gabriel, Monterey Park, Arcadia, and Hacienda Heights.
Irish Commercial Brokerage, who managed the leasing for the Ralphs, will be managing the leasing for the new 99 Ranch. Neither Ralphs nor Irish Commercial Brokerage have returned phone calls from the Source. 

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28 thoughts on “99 Ranch Market to replace Ralphs on East Main Street”

  1. Commentators on the Alhambra Source and social media like to blame Chinese/Asian people about as much as conservatives like to blame Obama for everything. Grocery store closing? Bookshops closing? The fact that you forgot to tie your shoelaces and fell flat on your face? Blame the Chinese! 😉

    In response to G’s post (and at the risk of going on a tangent): Bookstores carrying English language titles have been on the decline nationwide, and that has more to do first with the rise of the mega-bookstores (Barnes and Noble, Borders) taking out independent book shops, and now Amazon.com, which is finishing off the mega-book shops. Places like Target and Wal-Mart have also taken marketshare from bookshops by offering popular titles at a discount in their stores. (This is part of a larger retail trend, but I digress.)

    In some places in California (where there are, incidentally, few Asians), you will find entire counties without a single brick and mortar bookstore. Oh, how in the world will you be able to blame that on SGV’s non-English reading, Chinese/Asian hordes? You can’t: Alhambra’s dearth of English language book stores has nothing to do with city’s changing demographics, and everything to do with the transformation of the book industry nationwide.

    Plenty of news articles have talked about the nationwide demise of the brick and mortar book store. This is hardly news, and trust me, Asians are not mentioned as a cause. These articles are available online if you wish to learn about what’s happening to the bookselling industry.

    How this tangent is related: On a similar note, Ralphs left not because Asians are taking over Alhambra. Ralphs left because it is part of Kroger, and as a nationwide company, Kroger decided it made more business sense to close shop in north Alhambra and focus more of its local efforts on its more profitable South Pasadena and Monterey Park branches. If you want to see one extremely thriving Ralphs, check out the Monterey Park branch just south of Alhambra. It is busy day and night. Yes, it is located in an area with plenty of Asian residents. Yes, it is between two popular Asian markets and still holds its own. And yes, a LOT of Asian people shop at this Ralphs. So don’t blame Asian people for chasing away Ralphs. It was a business decision made by Kroger, a nationwide company. For them, the northern Alhambra store, unlike their Monterey Park stores, wasn’t profitable enough.

    (FWIW, I’ll wager Ralphs is less worried about Ranch 99 and more concerned about Wal-Mart and Target luring away their customers with expanded grocery offerings. Again, plenty of news articles have been written about the growing competition Wal-Mart and Target pose to the supermarket giants if you want to learn about this nationwide trend and how it affects the local retail-scape.)

    G, you seem to equate reading with only understanding English. I can assure you people can and do read in other languages. Our area has book stores that cater to Asian audiences; these shops offer books, magazines, and newspapers in Asian languages and English. You don’t need to know English to consume books and magazines. Literacy comes in all languages.

    I, for one, am glad people in and around Alhambra are such great readers. We may not have as many bookshops as we used to before big changes nationwide transformed the bookselling industry, but our libraries are well-stocked with various language titles and they are well-visited by many, many people, including Chinese and other Asians. Hooray for literacy, no matter what the language!

    And, I might add, hooray for the city’s plentiful grocery markets! We have so much access to fresh food. Not every area is so lucky. The place vacated by Ralphs could’ve stayed empty and forlorn for years (like how much of Main Street used to be), but thankfully, Ranch 99 has filled that spot ASAP. I have shopped in every single supermarket in Alhambra, and that Ranch 99 more than holds its own.

  2. I don’t understand why in Alhambra there needs to be 10 noodle places on one block, then 10 more on the next, mixed in are a dozen tea stations and “massage” places. Why is there no book/magazine shop in Alhambra? There needs to be another Costco also, perhaps in Monterey Park, this one is a nightmare, feel like i’m going to die in the parking lot or in the store where the samples are being given away.

    1. Because it is full of Chinese and Asians. And most Chinese there have trouble with English therefore no book or magazine stores.

  3. Alhambra Source reader

    I am more concerned with civic mindedness of the citizens than the so-called tribal takeover of the cities. People talk aloud in County libraries in San Gabriel, Rosemead, and Temple City, whose staff simply “take it for granted.” Individuals ride bikes on sidewalks. People bring dogs to city parks in Alhambra without regard to the law. Based on my observation, these are committed by all ethnicities. I don’t mind neighborhoods taken over by Asians, Latinos, or whatever; I do mind cities taken over by people who are uncivilized, disrespectful to others, with low moral standards, etc.

  4. Wish they had a stater bros in the area…

  5. I think the big point that everyone is missing is that Alhambra along with other cities in the San Gabriel Valley are becoming too tribal and not a melting pot anymore. I don’t mind waking up and see a community of a mixed culture but when the culture or one group takes over its not a comfortable environment anymore, especially for those that grew up in the communit and it’s evident that many aren’t willing to learn English which posses a hughe communication isdue. Only in the U.S. especially in LA most come and move into which I call tribsl communities.

    1. @Peter, I’m fairly certain that not everyone missed your point. Deborah and others made equivalent points, just not in coded terms. My earlier comments seem to apply equally to yours in the same way.

      The LA region, including Alhambra, continues to be a melting pot in the same way the US has been a proverbial melting pot of language and culture for the past 150 years. That melting pot doesn’t require and never has been perfectly blended to effectively create the diverse, multi-cultural society we consider ourselves. However, it’s worth noting that the metaphor has been myopic and a fallacy throughout our history. We need only look back fifty years to see the civil rights struggles and continued enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Act to see that the concept is only skin deep.

      To your point, people who immigrate here come at all ages, with varying skills and abilities to acquire new languages, and with different levels of English capabilities. Older adults generally have a more difficult time learning new languages and remain more comfortable speaking their native tongue. On the other hand, children will learn new languages fairly quickly. In addition, some people can pick up new languages quickly while others take years of study to gain elementary skills in that new language. Personally, I fall in the latter category and have a horribly difficult time learning new languages.

      Moreover, immigrants come to our community with varying levels of education level, literacy, and English skills. Each has a role in how quickly that person can pick up English. Not only that, but folks need time to take classes and study English to learn, which is more difficult for some immigrants than others. I’m not making excuses for people, I’m just saying that telling folks to “learn English” in the way they do is too simplistic and ignorant.

      Learning English has been a primary xenophobic complaint for more than a century when Germans and Eastern Europeans started coming to the US in large numbers. And like Asians do today, those earlier groups moved to semi-isolated enclaves that allowed life to be conducted in the old language(s) (perhaps this is what you mean by “tribal”). And like those earlier groups, the next generations of Alhambra’s Asians will learn English and assimilate into our larger American culture (I think this has already been happening for at least twenty years).

      1. Well I have to disagree. Does Valley Blvd look Diversified! As for the lanuage issue we have made it way too easy not to learn. Go into Office Depot on Valley and its all in Chinese. Like I said its a tribal take over of cities. Let me list them. Monterey Park, Alhambra, Arcadia, Walnut, Hacendia Heights, San Marino, South Pasadena just to name s few. It’s a tribal take over which has been happening over the last 20 years. I love diversity but a take over NO! Now with that said I wouldn’t be surprised if you were brain washed at a liberal school which they are good at doing to come up with a lengthy reply. Ugh

      2. In response to Paceragioli: Plenty of people who don’t understand Chinese have no problem finding what they want at the Office Depot on Valley. The signs are in English, the staff speak English. What on Earth are you talking about?

        Are you perhaps seeing something that doesn’t exist?

        FWIW, let’s entertain your idea that somehow all the signs at the Office Depot have magically been transformed to Chinese-only signs. Would I begrudge a private business making such a change, if such a change made business sense to them? No. It’s a private business. They will do whatever they need to do to make as much money as possible. Would you begrudge them that choice? That’s how capitalism and the American Way work.

        But back to reality: I find it interesting that you say you “love diversity but a takeover NO!” What does it mean to you to be diverse? Does it mean a landscape that you feel mostly reflects who you are/what your background is, but perhaps dotted with a few “other” kinds of businesses from “other” groups? In other words, does diversity mean to you a place that is mostly all about you aside from a few shops/businesses and people?

        Because that’s not diversity. That’s just a landscape where you maintain cultural dominance while the “other” groups provide a bit of color for your entertainment.

        And I do understand if you feel that’s how it should be. Most people prefer the world revolve around them anyway, prefer a world that reflects their face back to them.

        But if you’re calling it “diversity,” you’re not being accurate.

  6. 99 Ranch moving in is a joke! If they last more than 3 years at that location it will be a miracle. 99 Ranch did not do a demographic study to see if their store will survive in that area. This is 99 Ranch trying to push itself onto people who do not shop there. They will have a big eye opener when they see their sales dropping faster than a rock.
    Sprouts will survive and everyone who shopped at Ralph’s will go there or the other close by location, or even Albertsons before stepping into 99 Ranch.
    As a Chinese person, I know we mainly shop at 168 and even the other 2 nearby Chinese markets struggle to keep in business. If 99 Ranch wanted a good location, Valley is the location where the majority of Chinese residents live, not Main Street.
    Chinese won’t go to 99 Ranch unless they happen to be near it and everyone else will pretty much not go to an over priced Chinese market.

    Can’t wait to read this headline within a couple of years:
    “Vons to take over 99 Ranch on Main Street.”
    See you later 99 Ranch, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!!! You were never welcome in the beginning.

    1. I agree that ranch 99 will not survive in that location.
      However, it’s funny that you shop in 168. I guess you didn’t do your homework to find out that 168 and ranch 99 belong to the same boss, the same company, and the same stuff.
      168 make no differences, only look younger.

      But truely, ranch 99 are over-priced, also 168.

  7. I went to the Ralphs in South Pas today, which is very very close to this Ralphs on Main st. Wow, I like this one better.

    Win win situation. Brand spankin new 99 Ranch on the way, Ralphs in South Pas, brand spankin new Sprouts on the way, and good old Smart and Final, all within spitting distance of each other.

    This a gift to us all. AND…it is what I call “CAPITALISM”.

    Some of you maybe have not heard that word recently since our country has somewhat lost its way with all the bailouts and money printing, but at least, in this case, we have a store that is leaving for purely self interest reasons. It is capitalism at its finest.

    In the end, we all benefit.

    1. It’s hard to see since they’ve remodeled probably many times since, but the opening scene of The Big Lebowski–where the Dude was sniffing the freshness of a carton of half-and-half–was filmed at the South Pas Ralphs.

      It’s now overrun with Asian aisles, but whatever. /s

  8. Steve, what’s with your fear of Ranch 99? Sprouts is coming, does that not balance the scorecard for you?

  9. This’s a bad decision. This town will turn to another Asian town. We want Ralphs stay and 99 ranch don’t come. Or we have to move out to another town. We should stop this from happening!!!!!!!

    1. As a Chinese person, I don’t think we need another 99 Ranch Market. A lot of us US born or raised Chinese people (though we still go to Chinese stores and restaurants) prefer to hang out at the American chain stores. We want a variety. But this is the law of economics and capitalism. The Ralphs must not being doing good business to not afford to pay the higher rent, so they might have closed down anyways. If there are too many Chinese markets and too much competition, then the 99 Ranch Market would close down in a couple years and be replaced with a VONS or something. There is that large Chinese restaurant that closed down a few years ago on the corner of Main and Garfield and the place a still empty. Why didn’t a Black Angus or a Chili’s take over that spot? It is in a prime location across the street from the movie theater. In other words, don’t look at one business “taking over” or “replacing” another business. If a business is not doing good, they will close down anyways even if not replaced. It is better to have a business to occupy the space then leave it empty.

  10. When my family moved here in 1970, this town was a beautiful town. Now, it’s just overrun with asian restaurants and shops. Please for the love of Alhambra….NO MORE ASIAN ANYTHING!!!! It’s sad that my family now goes to Pasadena to enjoy dinner out. Turn Alhambra back to what it was. A few asian places would be okay, but now Alhambra is overrun by Asian everything!!!

    1. Deborah P, if there are no Asians in Alhambra, do you think Alhambra will be an all-white town like in the Midwest? No, it will be entirely Mexican like every other city in Los Angeles County. We need variety.

    2. @Deborah P (and others) – You may not realize it, but your comments are very racist. In fact, they’re insidious and dangerous to our society.

      • “Overrun” is the kind of word used to describe vermin. The Asians you speak of are people not roaches.
      • “[T]his town was a beautiful town.” It still is a beautiful town. If you’re thinking of architecture, consider that most of the bad zoning decisions and ugliest buildings were built in the 1970’s and 80’s by the people who were here before the huge influx of Asians into the city. Those people help onto power until at least 2000 and still hold significant sway and decision-making power today. But you need to look down deep inside yourself to see the ugliest part of the city.

      The only constant is change. We live in a different world than the 1970’s, just as our children and grandchildren will live in a different future world from our present. We need to all accept and tolerate that fact despite how painful it may be.

  11. I have not seen any information proving that Ralphs was “kicked” out. If the Ralphs had more sales at that location, believe me, they would still be there.

    There is another Ralphs within a stones throw, so lets not over react.

    This Raplhs did a pretty good job expanding their organic section. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many of their prices were too high, and the big thing is that the competition is going to become even more fierce.

    They very well know that Sprouts is coming. That is probably the elephant in the room at this point. There is also a Smart And Final that has improved their store layout.

    If Ralphs wanted to stay, they would have, unless you really have some inside information that we dont know about.

  12. JustThinkAboutit

    Honestly, this Ralph’s has been my family’s favorite local supermarket. That’s because we found the customer service to be so much better than all those other markets in the area. At this specific Ralph’s, we actually feel like we’re cared for. After hearing that this specific supermarket was being replaced by a different supermarket without Ralph’s actually wanting to leave, my heart wept a bit. I feel like its a bit shady of the property owners. In addition to the shadiness of kicking out a successful business without the business itself actually wanting to leave, I find it shady that some people aren’t thinking of how this is going to affect the people in the community. Not only are all of this Ralph’s employees(some who have been working their for years) going to lose their jobs, but the community is going to lose some of its variety of choices in supermarkets. I mean already, most of where I go is a Chinese supermarket already. We don’t need anymore. Especially one that would kick out another fellow, local supermarket.

    1. Ranch 99 didn’t kick out Ralphs. This is about the largest supermarket company in the US, Kroger (the company that owns Ralphs), making a very savvy business decision in choosing not to pay more in rent and consolidating its customer base into two or three other local branches of its market. This is a classic Kroger move based entirely on the cost per square foot versus the amount of revenue and profit it can eke out per squre foot. It appears, from the articles I’ve read, that the landlord then sought out other markets that would pay its asking price and found a taker in Ranch 99. Better that than an empty store front.

    2. Just to let you know the employees at Ralphs will not lose their jobs. They will all be transferred to different stores either in the area or close to home.

  13. Stop whining, you can always drive to the Ralphs in South Pasadena (Atlantic/Huntington) or Monterey Park (Atlantic/Emerson).

  14. Asian Alhambran

    I am Asian but I, and at least one Asian friend of mine, would prefer Ralph’s than an Asian market. But there is nothing I can do in this capitalistic economy. As to the rumors that Asians buying up properties, well, they certainly do not explain why Asian interests did not buy up Alhambra Place or Mervyn’s. If Ralph’s cannot afford the rent, it is better that someone else, Asian or not, take up the space, rather than let it vacant for years like Mervyn’s.

  15. The rumor over the past 20 years is that Asian interests buy up commercial properties and then set the rental or lease rates above market price so that overseas companies that are hungry for retail space will go for it.

    Time after time, I have seen chain stores leave the area because they will not or cannot pay ultra high rental rates.

    1. Yes you’re right. They look very Asian to me.

  16. OMG, that is HUGE news. I remember when they built that center in the mid 1990s. I am very glad 99 Ranch has stepped up to the plate. It will make the other spaces there much more valuable as well.