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Faced with hazard pay mandate, Kroger closing 2 stores in Seattle

The Kroger Co. is closing two affiliated grocery stores in Seattle.
The Kroger Co. is closing two affiliated grocery stores in Seattle.(Source: WXIX/CNN)
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 12:45 PM CST
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(CNN) - Kroger is closing two QFC grocery stores in Seattle instead of paying employees $4 an hour in hazard pay.

City leaders began requiring grocery stores larger than 85,000 square feet to offer that extra pay earlier this month as COVID-19 vaccines roll out slower than expected.

The QFC stores, which are owned by Kroger, say they can’t afford it because operating costs have risen during the pandemic. Critics point to Kroger’s corporate earnings to dispute that.

The company characterized the stores as “underperforming,” according to Supermarket News.

The nation’s largest grocer saw its profits double during the first three quarters of 2020 compared to the prior year.

Kroger also closed two stores in Long Beach, Calif., earlier this month rather than give workers city mandated hazard pay there.

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