Ahold is to close all of its Stop & Shop stores in New Hampshire after they failed to meet the retailer’s expectations.

Six stores and three gas stations will close, located in Bedford, Hudson, Exeter, Milford, and Manchester. The retailer did not disclose how many employees will be affected by the move.

“We continually assess our stores and operating performance,” said Joe Kelley, president of Stop & Shop’s New England division. “Our six stores in New Hampshire have not achieved performance goals after many years of investment, and we have made the difficult decision to close these underperforming stores.”

Kelley said the closures will allow the retailer to focus its investment and resources on continuing to grow its business in other areas of the northeast.

“We are sensitive to the impact this decision will have on our associates, our loyal customers, and the communities we have served,” he said. “We deeply appreciate the years of dedicated service our associates in New Hampshire have provided since 2003, and the loyal patronage from our customers.”

The retailer said it will work with UFCW Local 1445 union and state and local government officials to provide job search assistance and support staff impacted.

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Stop & Shop employs around 63,000 staff and operates around 400 stores across Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey.

The move comes despite Ahold reporting a 1.8% increase in first-quarter identical sales in the US in June. This, the retailer said, was helped by promotions and a “strong” performance from the retailer’s Stop & Shop chain.