US grocery chain Farmer Jack has said it will close four of its Detroit area stores amid fierce competition from rivals Kroger and Meijer.

Farmer Jack, which is owned by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co, also said it would spend US$20m this year to open three new stores and upgrade two others, reported the Associated Press.

Farmer Jack president Michael Carter said that despite competition and tough economic conditions, he remains optimistic about the chain’s prospects.

The stores to close are in Detroit, Eastpointe, Livonia and Warren. The stores to open are in Dearborn Heights, Detroit and Milford.

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By GlobalData