Cincinnati, Ohio-Based Kroger Markets, the largest U.S. supermarket chain by revenue, as announced the company plans to exit the highly-competitive Raleigh-Durham market in North Carolina with the sale of its 14 stores and the layoff of approximately 1,500 employees. Curiously, it is believed that eight of the stores will be sold to Matthews, North Carolina-based Harris Teeter Supermarkets, which was acquired by Kroger in 2014.
According to Jerry Clontz, president of the Mid-Atlantic Division of Kroger, "We have decided to close our stores in the highly competitive Raleigh-Durham market. We have not been able to grow our business the way we would like in this market."
Competition in groceries and non-foods markets have been undergoing rapid change with the entry of Amazon and the availability of home delivery from larger players in an attempt to capture shoppers. The days when a large family would spend hundreds of dollars in a single-store bi-weekly or monthly shopping trip are over as consumer buying patterns appear to feature smaller purchases at multiple stores, and even higher-priced neighborhood convenience markets
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