US grocery distributor Fleming has announced it is to cut 1,800 jobs in a move aimed at reducing the company’s debt and costs.

The company has been hit by fierce competition and the bankruptcy of its main customer, US convenience store chain Kmart.

Fleming also announced that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a formal investigation into the company, continuing from the informal investigation it commenced in November.

The SEC is investigating the company’s vendor trade practices, its presentation of earnings, its accounting for drop-ship sales transactions and its calculation of same-store sales, reported Reuters.

The Dallas-based company said it is expecting a pre-tax charge of around US$290m from the job cuts and other debt reduction activities.