INDIAN WELLS – Ralphs grocery store closed in Indian Wells two years ago but that shopping center is still feeling the shock waves today.
“This is definitely the slowest I’ve seen our business since 1979,” Jan Boydstun, owner of Kitchen Kitchen, said. “We’ve gone through three recessions.”
Four months turned into 24 years for Boydstun as she took over her parent’s prized possession.
“We’ve been in business 39 years now and I know they’re smiling down on me right now,” she said.
When Ralphs became an open space a few years ago, it transformed what used to be one of the busiest shopping centers into a ghost town.
“It was a really high demand,” Boydstun said about the shopping center during its prime. “It’s kind of sad to see that we have some stores that have closed here.”
The city says the 40,000-square foot space allots for about 40 percent of the shopping center.
“I would love to see this shopping center get another shot,” Boydstun said. “We need an anchor or maybe some really good restaurants or just some really fun stores.”
The city said they’re assisting the leasing agents throughout the process.
“Changing retail and grocery industry dynamics make any vacant space difficult to fill in the current market, as can be seen with vacant space in La Quinta, Indio, Palm Desert, and elsewhere in the valley,” David Gassaway, Community Development Director for Indian Wells, said.
Boydstun said she wants everything to return to how it was before.
“Everything has a cycle to it and I really believe this will come back around,” she said. “You have to hang on and hope for the best.”
The leasing agents for the Village in Indian Wells refused to comment on this story.