N.C. market taking on new look

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NEW YORK — Both Kroger Co. and Food Lion made some moves in the North Carolina market this month.

Kroger announced that it would be closing its stores in the Raleigh-Durham area. The Cincinnati-based grocer, which owns regional grocer Harris Teeter, said it would be closing a total of 14 stores by August 14. The company said about 1,500 employees would be affected, more than half of whom are part time.

“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, president of the Mid-Atlantic division of Kroger. “While we have had some success, we have not been able to grow our business the way we would like in this market.”

He elaborated, “The retail environment is challenging and changing in Raleigh-Durham. Many retail analysts say the Raleigh-Durham market is ­over-stored.”

The company plans to sell all 14 stores, which are in the Mid-Atlantic division. It is currently under contract to sell Food Lion one store, Crunch Fitness one store and Harris Teeter eight stores. Kroger bought Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter in 2014, but Kroger Mid-Atlantic and Harris Teeter are two separate business entities within the Kroger family of companies.

Clontz said employees would be offered job fairs and job placement services.

Elsewhere, Food Lion announced that it has acquired a Kroger location at 7905 Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh.

“We are so excited to add this new location to our network of more than 160 stores serving the Raleigh area,” said Food Lion president Meg Ham. “We’ve been the neighborhood friend that our customers can count on for more than 40 years in Raleigh. With the addition of this new store, we have an even greater opportunity to serve more customers — our neighbors — with fresh, quality products at affordable prices every day with the caring, friendly service they expect from their local Food Lion,” she added.



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