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Bi-Lo/Bruno's Store Closings Revealed

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. and GREENVILLE, S.C. – Bi-Lo, LLC and Bruno's Supermarkets, Inc., two chains formerly owned by Ahold USA, have disclosed separately their plans to shutter a total of 29 stores this month, in several Southeastern states.

Bruno's, based in Birmingham, Ala., said yesterday that it will close 20 of its 168 stores as part of the company's plan to reduce costs, improve profitability, and focus resources on its strongest markets. The closings include one Bruno's store in Mobile, Ala., 14 Food World stores in Florida and Alabama, and five FoodMax stores in Georgia and Mississippi.

Employees at these locations are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers union. The retailer and the union will provide assistance to the displaced workers, Bruno's said.

"It's always a difficult decision to close stores, but this decision is necessary to enable Bruno's to be more competitive across the region we serve and to become a more efficient, effective, and focused business," said Bruce Efird, e.v.p./g.m. of Bruno's.

Meanwhile, Bi-Lo, LLC, based in Greenville, S.C., said it would close nine of its 287 stores this month. The closings include four Bi-Lo stores in North Carolina and Tennessee, and five stores that operate under the FoodSmart banner in South Carolina and Georgia.

Ahold in January completed of the $660 million sale of Bruno's Supermarkets and BI-LO to an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, a Dallas-based investment group.
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