Competition in N.C. Drives Southern Family Markets Out

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Southern Family Markets, an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers, has decided the North Carolina market's heat is just too much. The retailer will completely vacate the market with the closure of nine supermarkets and the potential sale of its remaining eight locations.

"The decision to close certain stores came after a thorough analysis and consideration of what markets were most solid for Southern Family Markets to build a future on," C&S spokeswoman Karen Adelman told Progressive Grocer yesterday.

In a statement, Southern Family Markets president Bill White said the company "must act quickly to streamline operations in these very competitive markets." Just two weeks ago, the retailer said it plans to close 13 supermarkets in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.

The company brought in industry veteran Bill White in June to serve as president and c.o.o. White has previously served in executive roles for industry players such as Giant Food Stores, Bruno's, Piggly-Wiggly, and most recently, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.

The company said the North Carolina stores would conduct going out of business sales Aug. 13 through Aug. 26.

Sources who requested anonymity told Progressive Grocer that Southern Family Markets had failed to do much of anything new with the 104 Bi-Lo and Bruno's locations it purchased last year. With major moves from its competitors, including Food Lion's aggressive remodels throughout major markets, new initiatives at Harris Teeter and Lowe's Foods, and of course, Wal-Mart, not to mention non-traditional players such as Costco, Earth Fare, and Whole Foods, Southern Family Markets likely found itself getting rapidly squeezed out, the sources said.
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