Indian Wells Mayor blames Ralph’s closing on min. wage increase that hasn’t happened yet

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Ralph’s is closing in Indian Wells – and while the grocery chain says that the store is being shuttered because it was underperforming, the Mayor of Indian Wells blames something else: a minimum wage increase that has not even happened yet.

“Sad. Very sad,” Indian Wells Mayor Dana Reed told the Desert Sun before blaming the closing on California’s minimum wage increase that has yet to kick in:

He pointed to California’s new minimum wage law, saying cities should brace for the shuttering of more businesses.

In April, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill giving California the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2022.

“Ralphs has been a great corporate citizen for many years,” Reed said. “But California’s new minimum wage laws will cause corporate consolidation up and down the state. It’s a matter of survival.”

A spokesperson for Ralph’s said the minimum wage increase – which has not even started yet – was not part of the decision to shut the store.

The median age of Indian Wells is over 66-years-old and the median annual household income for residents is over $83,000.