A major move has come down the pipeline for Southeastern Grocers. As the parent company of BI-LO, the retailer has sold 23 more of the banner’s stores as part of its plan to divest the brand entirely. Twenty have been sold to Alex Lee; two BI-LO stores and one Harveys Supermarket have been sold to B&T Foods.
“The company will begin the transition of these stores to Alex Lee, Inc., and B&T Foods later this month, and the process is expected to conclude in November,” expressed Joe Caldwell, Southeastern Grocers Corporate Communications Manager. “Southeastern Grocers will continue to assess options for the remaining BI-LO stores, including other potential transactions.”
According to a release obtained by local news source WCSC, Alex Lee plans to operate 15 of the stores under the KJ’s Market IGA brand and five stores under the Lowes Foods brand.
“We are excited to add these new locations to our retail store portfolio,” Brian George, Alex Lee President and CEO, remarked. “We have an opportunity to accelerate our growth in these markets while continuing to provide shoppers with a unique grocery shopping experience in their local communities.”
Alex Lee expects to hire more than 2,000 employees to continue to serve the communities where the 20 stores are located, Carpenter commented. Prior to the completion of the transaction, Alex Lee plans to meet with current BI-LO employees in those stores to discuss employment opportunities.
Alex Lee News Media Contact Scott Carpenter commented to WCSC that the stores will remain open as BI-LO stores until the transaction is complete, which is expected to take place over a staggered period from September to November 2020, pending customary closing requirements.
How will this transaction continue to affect the retail market? Deli Market News will keep you up to date.