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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):

AddressCityState
1256 Highway 9 BypassWest LancasterSC
1401 East Main StreetRock HillSC
110 South Highway 52Moncks CornerSC
12189 Greenville HighwayLymanSC
1021 South Pendleton StreetEasleySC
1048 York Street NortheastAikenSC
4435 Jefferson Davis Highway #11ClearwaterSC
3353 Highway 72 221 EastGreenwoodSC
3575 Maybank HighwayJohns IslandSC
603 Main Street NorthNew EllentonSC
501 South Pearl StreetPagelandSC
55 Carolina SquareEdgefieldSC
249 West Columbia AvenueBatesburgSC
3457 Peach Orchard RoadAugustaGA
2512 Tobacco RoadHephzibahGA

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

AddressCityState
3619 Pelham RoadGreenevilleSC
120 Forum DriveColumbiaSC
1419 Chapin RoadChapinSC
3125 Bees Ferry RoadCharlestonSC
1000 Tanner Ford BoulevardHanahanSC

 
BI-LO STORES SOLD TO B&T FOODS:

AddressCityState
312 S. Main St.GlennvilleGA
120 East Winthrope Ave.MillenGA

 
HARVEYS STORE SOLD TO B&T FOODS:

AddressCityState
8205 E. Main St.RidgelandSC

 
BI-LO STORES SOLD TO FOOD LION:

AddressCityState
2803 Wrightsboro Rd.AugustaGA
155 S. Leroy St.MetterGA
1041 Franklin Springs St.RoystonGA
325 Northside Dr. E. Ste. 1StatesboroGA
1109 W. Ogeechee St.SylvaniaGA
1101 E. 1st St.VidaliaGA
2601 S. New Hope Rd.GastoniaNC
742 W. Highway 27LincolntonNC
2901 S. Main St.AndersonSC
860 Parris Island Gtwy. Ste. NBeaufortSC
2453 Charleston Hwy.CayceSC
300 Knox Abbott Dr.CayceSC
712 S. Alabama Ave.ChesneeSC
1436 J A Cochran Byp.ChesterSC
4464 Devine St.ColumbiaSC
6021 Saint Andrews Rd.ColumbiaSC
104 Jungle Rd.Edisto IslandSC
1103 N. Main St.Fountain InnSC
6 K Mart Plz.GreenvilleSC
15 Farrs Bridge Rd.GreenvilleSC
101 Verdae Blvd. Ste. 1200GreenvilleSC
2010 Montague Avenue Ext.GreenwoodSC
1365 W. Wade Hampton Blvd.GreerSC
2460 Hudson Rd.GreerSC
819 W. Carolina Ave.HartsvilleSC
500 E. Greer St.Honea PathSC
11153 Asheville Hwy.InmanSC
3924 Highway 17 S.North Myrtle BeachSC
1370 Chestnut NEOrangeburgSC
115 Willbrook Blvd.Pawleys IslandSC
330 Lebby St.PelzerSC
7709 Highway 76PendletonSC
518 N. Wheeler Ave.ProsperitySC
5982 W. Jim Bilton Blvd.Saint GeorgeSC
605 Travis Ave.SaludaSC
191 Bilo Plz.SenecaSC
2607 Woodruff Rd.SimpsonvilleSC
699 Fairview Rd.SimpsonvilleSC
2401 Reidville Rd.SpartanburgSC
975 Bacons Bridge Rd. Unit 117SummervilleSC
1625 N. Main St. Ste. 108SummervilleSC
2055 Wedgefield Rd.SumterSC
550 Robertson Blvd.WalterboroSC
1126 US Highway 321 Bus SWinnsboroSC
717 E. Liberty St. Unit DYorkSC
1095 Filbert Hwy.YorkSC

 
HARVEYS STORES SOLD TO FOOD LION:

AddressCityState
2310 N. Slappey St.AlbanyGA
1511 S. Radium Springs Rd.AlbanyGA
2800 Old Dawson Rd.AlbanyGA
1108 S. Pierce St.AlmaGA
12246 Columbia St. Ste. FBlakelyGA
775 Ga. Highway 122 WHahiraGA
42 Surrey Plz.HawkinsvilleGA
955 S. 1st St.JesupGA
207 Mcpherson St.NashvilleGA
540 W. Bacon St.PembrokeGA
1207 W. Screven St.QuitmanGA
246 S. Main St.ReidsvilleGA
1451 Ga. Highway 21 SSpringfieldGA
1404 E. Jackson St.ThomasvilleGA
2201 US Highway 41 NTiftonGA
1312 Plant Ave.WaycrossGA

 
Image source: BI-LO

One Comment

  1. 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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