US grocery retailer Albertsons has announced that it will exit the New Orleans marketplace and plans to sell or close all its stores there.

The company revealed that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell four of its New Orleans stores to the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. Discussions are also underway with other potential buyers for the remaining three stores there.

“This market exit is consistent with our strategic imperative to maximize return on invested capital. In markets where we are not number one or two, and cannot see a path to either get there or generate an acceptable return for shareholders, we will exit and use the proceeds to invest elsewhere,” said CEO Larry Johnston.

Albertsons operates over 2,300 retail stores in 31 states across the US, under banners including Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Albertsons-Osco, Albertsons-Sav-on, Sav-on Drugs, Osco Drug, and Super Saver.

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