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(SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 UPDATE: Southeastern Grocers has announced the sale of 23 more BI-LO and Harveys stores: 15 BI-LO stores will become KJ’s Market IGA, five will become Lowes, and two BI-LO stores and one Harveys will be sold to B&T Foods. The full list of affected stores is below.)

It’s not the most storied or beloved grocery chain around, but BI-LO has been a survivor for the past six decades, living through two bankruptcies and persevering through at least two attempts by its owner to sell off the entire chain. But now, the owner of the southern grocer says it’s finally time to say an official goodbye to BI-LO.

Owner Southeastern Grocers announced yesterday a “strategic decision to no longer operate stores under the BI-LO banner,” as part of “a series of transactions that will ensure the company continues to thrive and support the long-term growth of its core banners,” namely its other holdings Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and the Hispanic-focused South Florida chain Fresco y Más.

The company’s first move was to sell 46 BI-LO stores – nearly half of the roughly 100-store chain – to rival Food Lion, along with 16 Harveys locations. All of the affected stores will be converted to Food Lions beginning early next year. The remaining BI-LO stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia are likely to be sold or closed, as the company “explores strategic options… including other potential transactions.”

In a separate transaction announced at the same time, Southeastern Grocers is also transferring all in-store pharmacy operations at BI-LO and Harveys stores to CVS and Walgreens.

“The successful execution of our long-term transformation strategy may at times require difficult decisions,” SEG President and CEO Anthony Hucker said in a statement. “Today’s transactions are a critical strategic move and an important next step for our continued growth and broader evolution as a business.”

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BI-LO’s story is filled with ups and downs, ownership changes and bankruptcy filings since its 1961 founding in Greenville, South Carolina. The BI-LO name came along two years later, based on a suggestion by the owner’s secretary. Ahold – which, incidentally, now owns Food Lion – bought BI-LO in the 1970’s and owned it for nearly 30 years, before selling it to private equity firm Lone Star Funds. By that time, BI-LO was South Carolina’s second-largest grocery chain, trailing only Walmart.

But its fortunes began to shift. Lone Star tried to sell BI-LO in 2007, before the company ultimately filed for bankruptcy a couple of years later. It emerged from bankruptcy and was put up for sale again – but instead, the company ended up acquiring Winn-Dixie in 2011, and Harveys in 2013. Shortly thereafter, Southeastern Grocers was created as a new parent company to the growing collection of grocery chains. And then the company went bankrupt again, closing more than 100 stores before emerging from bankruptcy just two months later.

By this time, BI-LO was no longer the name of the company, it was just one of many grocery chains owned by the new parent company. And the new parent company had begun to favor BI-LO’s siblings over the company’s onetime namesake. Winn-Dixie is by far Southeastern Grocers’ largest chain, with about 500 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Harveys has its own niche, serving smaller communities with smaller stores. And the newest chain, Fresco y Más, has a unique focus of its own, and continues to grow.

So BI-LO, a middle-of-the-road grocery chain without the scale of a Winn-Dixie or the specific niche of its other corporate siblings, found itself the odd one out. And while there are plenty of coupons-and-deals sites that follow Winn-Dixie and Southeastern competitors like Publix, Harris Teeter and Food Lion, BI-LO typically doesn’t earn the same level of attention or affection from deal-seekers. There was once a website called “I Heart BI-LO,” but that folded several years ago. Other couponers drifted away after BI-LO updated its coupon policy last year to eliminate the stacking of store and manufacturer’s coupons.

On the other hand, BI-LO is one of the few regional chains that still doubles coupons. BI-LO shoppers whose stores have been sold to Food Lion won’t be able to enjoy that perk for much longer.

“These actions will facilitate greater investment in our remaining footprint so we can continue to provide an exceptional shopping experience our customers can always count on,” Hucker said. The company says proceeds from the store sales will be used to continue refreshing and modernizing existing stores, and expanding them into new areas.

What follows is a list of the stores that have been sold. If your store isn’t on the list, its ultimate fate is still up in the air. Either way, if you’re a BI-LO fan, it will soon be time to wave goodbye to your local BI-LO – for good.

NEW: BI-LO STORES SOLD TO ALEX LEE, INC. (TO BECOME KJ’s MARKET IGA):

Address City State
1256 Highway 9 Bypass West Lancaster SC
1401 East Main Street Rock Hill SC
110 South Highway 52 Moncks Corner SC
12189 Greenville Highway Lyman SC
1021 South Pendleton Street Easley SC
1048 York Street Northeast Aiken SC
4435 Jefferson Davis Highway #11 Clearwater SC
3353 Highway 72 221 East Greenwood SC
3575 Maybank Highway Johns Island SC
603 Main Street North New Ellenton SC
501 South Pearl Street Pageland SC
55 Carolina Square Edgefield SC
249 West Columbia Avenue Batesburg SC
3457 Peach Orchard Road Augusta GA
2512 Tobacco Road Hephzibah GA

 
BI-LO STORES SOLD TO ALEX LEE, INC. (TO BECOME LOWES):

Address City State
3619 Pelham Road Greeneville SC
120 Forum Drive Columbia SC
1419 Chapin Road Chapin SC
3125 Bees Ferry Road Charleston SC
1000 Tanner Ford Boulevard Hanahan SC

 
BI-LO STORES SOLD TO B&T FOODS:

Address City State
312 S. Main St. Glennville GA
120 East Winthrope Ave. Millen GA

 
HARVEYS STORE SOLD TO B&T FOODS:

Address City State
8205 E. Main St. Ridgeland SC

 
BI-LO STORES SOLD TO FOOD LION:

Address City State
2803 Wrightsboro Rd. Augusta GA
155 S. Leroy St. Metter GA
1041 Franklin Springs St. Royston GA
325 Northside Dr. E. Ste. 1 Statesboro GA
1109 W. Ogeechee St. Sylvania GA
1101 E. 1st St. Vidalia GA
2601 S. New Hope Rd. Gastonia NC
742 W. Highway 27 Lincolnton NC
2901 S. Main St. Anderson SC
860 Parris Island Gtwy. Ste. N Beaufort SC
2453 Charleston Hwy. Cayce SC
300 Knox Abbott Dr. Cayce SC
712 S. Alabama Ave. Chesnee SC
1436 J A Cochran Byp. Chester SC
4464 Devine St. Columbia SC
6021 Saint Andrews Rd. Columbia SC
104 Jungle Rd. Edisto Island SC
1103 N. Main St. Fountain Inn SC
6 K Mart Plz. Greenville SC
15 Farrs Bridge Rd. Greenville SC
101 Verdae Blvd. Ste. 1200 Greenville SC
2010 Montague Avenue Ext. Greenwood SC
1365 W. Wade Hampton Blvd. Greer SC
2460 Hudson Rd. Greer SC
819 W. Carolina Ave. Hartsville SC
500 E. Greer St. Honea Path SC
11153 Asheville Hwy. Inman SC
3924 Highway 17 S. North Myrtle Beach SC
1370 Chestnut NE Orangeburg SC
115 Willbrook Blvd. Pawleys Island SC
330 Lebby St. Pelzer SC
7709 Highway 76 Pendleton SC
518 N. Wheeler Ave. Prosperity SC
5982 W. Jim Bilton Blvd. Saint George SC
605 Travis Ave. Saluda SC
191 Bilo Plz. Seneca SC
2607 Woodruff Rd. Simpsonville SC
699 Fairview Rd. Simpsonville SC
2401 Reidville Rd. Spartanburg SC
975 Bacons Bridge Rd. Unit 117 Summerville SC
1625 N. Main St. Ste. 108 Summerville SC
2055 Wedgefield Rd. Sumter SC
550 Robertson Blvd. Walterboro SC
1126 US Highway 321 Bus S Winnsboro SC
717 E. Liberty St. Unit D York SC
1095 Filbert Hwy. York SC

 
HARVEYS STORES SOLD TO FOOD LION:

Address City State
2310 N. Slappey St. Albany GA
1511 S. Radium Springs Rd. Albany GA
2800 Old Dawson Rd. Albany GA
1108 S. Pierce St. Alma GA
12246 Columbia St. Ste. F Blakely GA
775 Ga. Highway 122 W Hahira GA
42 Surrey Plz. Hawkinsville GA
955 S. 1st St. Jesup GA
207 Mcpherson St. Nashville GA
540 W. Bacon St. Pembroke GA
1207 W. Screven St. Quitman GA
246 S. Main St. Reidsville GA
1451 Ga. Highway 21 S Springfield GA
1404 E. Jackson St. Thomasville GA
2201 US Highway 41 N Tifton GA
1312 Plant Ave. Waycross GA

 
Image source: BI-LO

17 Comments

  1. Shanta Johnson says:

    I’ve never been a big fan of Food Lion but I appreciate the fact that we have a grocery store available in the neighborhood. BI-LO was leaving anyway. I’m amazed at the fact that the store is set up pretty much the same that BI-LO was which is making the transition easier. I almost can’t tell that it’s a different store. Thank you Food Lion!!! I wish you much success!

  2. Do we know what the BI-Lo in Franklin will become?

  3. i will miss my bilo in myrtle beach so sad. I loved shopping there

  4. I live in Brevard NC and just this last month all of the sudden we noticed this last week displays being taken down so we ask Cashier and they said closing around April 11th I wanted to shop this week but heard Meat Counter and possibly vegetables were not available. This store was the go to during the Pandemic. Have a wide assortment of items have known the employees for years and some had worked since Graduating High School till now for a long time. I loved the deli and their sales. It was right at the opening of Pisgah National Forest. Now all the visitors will have to travel a few miles to buy their groceries like the rest of us who live close enough to shop at Bilo. A part of our History is now going to close down They are making a big mistake when they close this store down for sure

  5. Ellen McKerley says:

    I hate to see Bi-lo go- I worked for them 17 years.
    Will miss the double up to 60 cents coupons and the senior discount if Food Lion comes in! Will definitely NOT shop there.

  6. I hate that my bi-lo is closing in seneca sc i have been going there most of my life and i have good friends that work there now i probably won’t ever see them again and im going to miss that store a lot it has been a good store

  7. Darlene Newton says:

    Was just told my employee at BiLo in Pelzer that they are closing and not opening up as a Food Lion or any other grocery store. Is this true? Williamston and Pelzer doesn’t have a grocery store except for the bargain stores.

  8. sandra johnson says:

    I live in Winnsboro, S.C. and the Bi*Lo here is changing to Food Lion. This town only has two grocery stores and KJ’s is the other one.
    Next April I will have lived here for two years and have shopped primarily at Bi*Lo but I won’t shop there any more. Not because the store is closing but because this store allows a certain cashier to work with the public without a mask on. This is outrageous and dangerous. The employee claims to have a medical ‘exemption’ letter from her doctor but I seriously doubt she does. No doctor in their right mind would give anyone an exemption letter like that.
    My own doctor doesn’t write them and her colleagues don’t either.
    Not only is the cashier putting the public in danger, she’s putting herself in danger of getting infected with Covid. How ridiculous. If this woman is so ill she can’t wear a mask then she doesn’t need to be working with the public.
    I hope that Food Lion’s Covid safety guidelines are more strict and their website claims it is. Time will tell.
    I don’t particularly like shopping at KJ’s and the only reason is, they don’t carry all the items I usually buy. The store here looks clean, the aisles are wide and everyone is friendly. They need to carry more non-store brand items. So many of their items are their own brand. Nothing wrong with that of course but there’s just not much of a selection.

    • Dan Summers says:

      Don’t believe everything you hear without checking the real facts. There are hardly NO flu cases, no other normal causes of death, etc 2020-21. Everything is coded covid19. If you don’t agree with her medical exemption (your choice) just go to another checker’s lane. Or just drive elsewhere where you don’t feel as foolish wearing your mask because everyone else has one on too.

  9. Summer Mickelson says:

    Please leave the store in Forest City, NC. I don’t shop anywhere else.

  10. What about the BiLo in Stanley, NC?

  11. No mention of the Bi-lo in Woodruff, SC ???

  12. Pat Grissop says:

    Please let Travelers Rest SC stay open !! Been shopping there since around 1962-63. It is a vital part of our community. We need this store so desperately!!!

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