With the North Carolina grocery market getting hotter than ever, it looks like Kroger is choosing to get out of the kitchen. The retailer announced it will be closing and selling all 14 of its store locations in the Raleigh-Durham citing tough-to-beat competition and oversaturation.
"After a thorough evaluation of the market for a significant time period, we have decided to close our stores in the highly competitive Raleigh-Durham market," said Jerry Clontz, Mid-Atlantic Division President. "While we have had some success, we have not been able to grow our business the way we would like in this market."
Food Lion will take the reins of one location, Harris Teeter—a subsidiary of Kroger—will purchase eight stores, and Crunch Fitness will purchase one. The remaining stores are still looking for buyers as of now, according to the Raley Patch.
“The retail environment is challenging and changing in Raleigh-Durham,” Clontz continued in a press release. “Many retail analysts say the Raleigh-Durham market is over-stored.”
More than 1,500 employees, the majority of which are part-time, will be affected by the store closures, the Patch reported. Clontz said Kroger will be offering job fairs, job placement services, and employee assistance programs to associates to help ease their transitions.
“We’re making every effort to assist our associates in finding employment,” Clontz explained.
The complete list of stores affected by Kroger’s decision is as follows:
In total, Kroger’s Roanoke, Virginia-based Mid-Atlantic has 122 stores in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio.