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Kroger to explore sale of its convenience stores

Kroger Co. said Oct. 11 that it will look into selling its convenience store business.

In a statement, Kroger Executive Vice President and CFO Mike Schlotman said the company will consider several options for the stores "to ensure this part of the business is meeting its full potential," including a sale of its convenience banners.

Speaking at the grocer's annual analyst day in New York, Schlotman said he would not comment on how much the company is hoping to sell the stores for or what it would use the capital for if it sells them.

The potential sale is part of a broader strategy Kroger executives discussed during a presentation to analysts Oct. 11, the company's first analyst day since Amazon.com Inc. closed its purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc. on Aug. 28.

Kroger operates 784 convenience stores in the U.S., according to S&P Capital IQ. The stores operate under a variety of banners, including Kwik Shop, Turkey Hill Minit Markets and Tom Thumb, according to the company. As a group, the stores produced revenue of $4 billion during the company's 2016 fiscal year, including both merchandise and fuel sales.

The stores employ about 11,000 people, the company said in its statement.