After years of flat sales, Kroger announced it would exit the Raleigh-Durham market in North Carolina - sort of.
The Cincinnati-based supermarket giant said it would shut 14 area stores in mid-August. But eight of those stores will be sold to Harris-Teeter, which Kroger owns. Agreements to sell two other locations are also under contract.
"We have decided to close our stores in the highly competitive Raleigh-Durham market," said Jerry Clontz, president of the Mid-Atlantic Division of Kroger. "We have not been able to grow our business the way we would like in this market."
Kroger acquired the Harris Teeter chain in 2014. While the Kroger brand has never been a major name in Raleigh or Durham, the company lists them both as major markets with more than 50 stores (most under the Harris Teeter banner).
The announcement affects 1,500 associates, half of them full-time. Kroger said it would aid them in finding new employment.
North Carolina has Kroger's fifth-largest store count with more than 160 locations.
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