Kroger announced Wednesday that it will shut down all 14 of its stores in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, market in August.

The Cincinnati-based retailer owns Harris Teeter, a grocer with a strong regional presence in North Carolina. In a release, the company says the Research Triangle market has too many grocery stores now.

"After a thorough evaluation of the market for a significant time period, we have decided to close our stores in the highly competitive Raleigh-Durham market," says Jerry Clontz, president of the mid-Atlantic division of Kroger. "While we have had some success, we have not been able to grow our business the way we would like in this market. The retail environment is challenging and changing in Raleigh-Durham. Many retail analysts say the Raleigh-Durham market is over-stored."

Kroger says it plans to sell all 14 stores, including locations to Food Lion, Crunch Fitness and Harris Teeter, which Kroger purchased in 2014. The company says about 1,500 employees will be affected in the move.