Harris Teeter may be next grocer to explore 'strategic options'

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Carolina retailer Harris Teeter may be exploring a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday evening

According to the report, Harris Teeter is being advised by JP Morgan. WSJ tabulated Harris Teeter's market value at $1.8 billion for its 200 supermarkets. 

Harris Teeter recently reported a sales increase of 3.7% for its first quarter ended Jan. 1 to $1.2 billion. The chain reported that sales increase was driven by an increase in comparable store sales of 2.5% and sales from new stores, partially offset by store closings.  

“We continue to focus on driving unit sales and growing our market share," stated Thomas Dickson, Harris Teeter chairman and CEO at the time first quarter results were announced. "During the first quarter of fiscal 2013, our pricing and promotional strategies were effective in this regard, as evidenced by an increase in the number of active households and number of customer visits we experienced over the prior year. However, aggressive pricing by competitors, low inflation during the period and the generally sluggish retail environment experienced during the holiday season combined to put downward pressure on our gross profit."