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Sept. 16 – Bi-Lo Acquiring Area Piggly Wiggly Stores

Category: Business Buzzzzzzzz

Darien, Pooler, Savannah stores are part of 22-store deal

Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. has entered into definitive agreements with Bi-Lo Holdings and Harris Teeter Supermarkets to sell 29 of its stores. Bi-Lo Holdings plans to purchase 22 stores in South Carolina and coastal Georgia. Harris Teeter expects to purchase seven South Carolina stores, one of which is under construction. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. Both deals are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013 subject to customary closing conditions.

The stores that Bi-Lo plans to acquire will be rebranded under the Bi-Lo banner name. Through the transaction,  Bi-Lo says it will welcome approximately 1,200 Piggly Wiggly employees.

“We look forward to welcoming new associates in good standing to the Bi-Lo Holdings family and to building on the strength of these stores,” Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Bi-Lo Holdings, says in a company announcement.

“Piggly Wiggly has an outstanding reputation, and the efforts of their talented associates have played a key role in making these stores such an important part of the communities they serve,” he adds. “We look forward to meeting with our new associates, exchanging ideas and working together to run great stores. We are committed to making this transition as seamless as possible for Piggly Wiggly associates.”

Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. President and CEO David Schools says, ”The departure of employees and stores from the Piggly Wiggly team will be acutely felt, but we know that both Harris Teeter and Bi-Lo will benefit from these outstanding folks. We are glad that all store employees affected by this transaction will have the opportunity to work for Harris Teeter and Bi-Lo, and guests will continue to be served by the familiar people who have been the backbone of these stores for years.”

Bi-Lo Holdings says the acquisition is another important step in the execution of the company’s long-term strategy. It says it will continue to fine-tune the business and its network of stores in order to reinvest in the company, which operates under the Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie banner.

“This agreement will build on the strength of our Bi-Lo stores in South Carolina and coastal Georgia and allow us to provide the freshest foods and the best deals to a broader customer base,” Onstead says. “Customers will not see any change to the level of quality they have come to expect from Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie or Piggly Wiggly.”

Until the transaction is finalized, the Piggly Wiggly stores that are part of the proposed acquisition will continue to operate as part of Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. and will remain separate from Bi-Lo Holdings. In the interim, Bi-Lo Holdings says it has appointed a dedicated team to work through the details of the transaction.

Bi-Lo Holdings is the ninth-largest conventional supermarket chain in the U.S. based on net sales. The company employs nearly 60,000 associates who serve customers in 686 grocery stores and 482 in-store pharmacies throughout the eight southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Sixteen of the Piggly Wiggly stores that Bi-Lo Holdings intends to purchase are in South Carolina and six are in Georgia:

• 1338 North Way, Darien, Ga.

• 4415 Augusta St., Garden City, Ga.

• 312 South Main St., Glennville, Ga.

• 1042 US Highway 80 West, Pooler, Ga.

• 2142 East Victory Dr., Savannah, Ga.

• 7360 Skidaway Rd., Savannah, Ga.

• 3386 Railroad Ave., Bamberg, S.C.

• 50 Burnt Church Rd., Bluffton, S.C.

• 445 Meeting St., Charleston, S.C.

• 630 Skylark Dr., Charleston, S.C.

• 136 South Main St., Clover, S.C.

• 4711-1 Forest Dr., Columbia, S.C.

• 104 Jungle Rd., Edisto Beach, S.C.

• 3353 Highway 72/221 East, Greenwood, S.C.

• 3575 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, S.C.

• 9616 Highway 78, Ladson, S.C.

• 760 Highway 378, Lexington, S.C.

• 4360 Augusta Rd., Lexington, S.C.

• 208 East McIntyre St., Mullins, S.C.

• 115 Willbrook Blvd., Pawleys Island, S.C.

• 518 North Wheeler Ave., Prosperity, S.C.

• 615 Harry C Raysor Dr. South, St. Matthews, S.C.

It’s unclear if Bi-Lo will close any of the stores involved in the deal. The company reports that it’s premature to speculate and that “there are still many details to work through.”

“…We will continue to base our operational decisions on market demand and the needs of our business,” Onstead says.



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