Kroger subsidiary Ralphs settles allegations of inaccurate labeling, product weighing by paying US$1M to district attorney's office, US$100,000 to food bank; company says violations were inadvertent and unintentional
September 28, 2012
– In response to the settlement approved today by the Los Angeles Superior Court, Ralphs Grocery Company issued the following statement:
"After an almost 3-year-old investigation regarding allegations occurring in 2009 it found what we already knew. Ralphs is industry-leading and will continue to be when it comes to providing our customers accurate pricing and precise labeling. We take these matters very seriously and any inadvertent discrepancies were corrected immediately for our customers. We have decided to put this behind us, and we are pleased the investigation is finally complete. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers throughout Southern California.
"As a judge noted back in 2010, even at that time, Ralphs had 99% accuracy on labeling and weighing its goods as well as an impressive Weights and Measures and Price Integrity program in all our stores. Clearly, there is nothing misleading nor unfair to Ralphs' pricing. Ralphs has continued to improve in this area."
The investigation occurred in the spring of 2010. Since then, Ralphs has improved its already industry-leading Weights and Measures program, implementing steps such as automatically defaulting to the largest container weight when measuring to-go items such as fresh salads and streamlining internal communications involving price changes. By agreeing to the settlement, Ralphs made no admission of liability. Ralphs continues to assert that the underlying violations that lead to the investigation were inadvertent and unintentional. Ralphs made the business decision to settle this matter and remains committed to providing its customers with the highest quality service in Southern California.
The settlement calls for Ralphs to pay $1 million to the offices of the district attorney and city attorney and $100,000 to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
Each Ralphs Grocery Store has approximately 50,000 individual items, with 9,000 price changes each week. Ralphs team members who handle weighed products complete regular training and each store has a dedicated team member in charge of ensuring price changes are handled quickly and accurately.
Ralphs Grocery Company was founded in 1873 and currently operates 248 supermarkets from its headquarters in Los Angeles. Last year, Ralphs contributed more than $8 million to support education, hunger relief, women's health and local nonprofit organizations in the communities served by the company's stores. Ralphs is a subsidiary of The Kroger Co., (KR), one of the nation's largest food retailers, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more about Ralphs, please visit our web site at www.ralphs.com.