US retailer Stop & Shop has received court approval to pay US$20m to take over the leases of 18 department stores from bankrupt retailer Ames.

Stop & Shop is expected to convert many, but not all of the sites into Stop & Shop stores, reported the Associated Press.

Connecticut-based Ames announced in August that it would close all 327 of its stores, leading to the loss of 22,000 jobs.

Stop & Shop rival Shaw’s also recently made a successful $20m bid for 18 former Ames stores.