Bad weather in California expected to hurt retailers

CINCINNATI – Grocery retailers are taking stock of the impact California’s freeze will have on supplies and the prices of citrus, strawberries and other damaged crops in their stores.

Meghan Glynn, spokeswoman for Kroger Co., said yesterday that severe weather in California, Arizona and parts of Mexico is expected to hurt store supplies for several months.

“We expect shortages of citrus fruits, berries, some lettuce varieties and several fresh vegetable offerings,” she said. “We regret that we are not able to offer our customers the range of high-quality fresh produce usually available this time of year.”

Glynn said Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery chain, is working with suppliers to find alternative sources. Kroger has nearly 2,500 grocery stores in 31 states.

Growers in California say prices will shoot up in the aftermath of subfreezing temperatures.