Dutch retailer Ahold has reached an agreement to sell Golden Gallon, its Stateside fuel and merchandise convenience store operation, to The Pantry, for an undisclosed sum.

The Pantry, based in North Carolina, is a leading convenience store operator in the southeastern US, operating around 1,300 stores in 10 states. Sales in 2002 were $2.5bn.

The divestment of Golden Gallon, which is due to be completed by the end of the year, is part of Ahold’s strategic plan to restructure its portfolio to focus on core food business.

Golden Gallon’s 138-store chain is centred in the Chattanooga region, stretching south to Atlanta and north to middle and eastern Tennessee. Its sales in 2002 were $375m.