K-VA-T Food Stores Inc. will acquire 29 Bi-Lo locations in Chattanooga, Tenn., and northwest Georgia from Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers. K-VA-T will operate all of the stores under its flagship Food City banner and plans to hire the vast majority of Bi-Lo associates when the transaction closes.
The transfer and handoff dates of the 29 Bi-Lo stores to Food City will begin Aug. 30, 2015, with all stores fully transitioned by Oct. 5, 2015, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
The 104-store K-VA-T plans to invest more than $40 million in improvements to the acquired Bi-Lo locations during the first year, according to local reports.
“We are extremely excited to have this opportunity to expand our operation into the Chattanooga and northwest Georgia markets," said Steven C. Smith, president and CEO of Abingdon, Va.-based Food City. “We certainly look forward to welcoming the Bi-Lo associates to our Food City family and serving the region."
Smith further assured consumers that the conversion process will be completed "as quickly as possible, with the least interruption to the normal flow of business. It’s our intention to enhance the overall variety and selection and further develop the services and conveniences provided to our shoppers.”
"We are pleased to enter into this transaction with K-VA-T, which we believe is the right decision not only for Southeastern Grocers, but also for our stores and associates in Chattanooga and Northwest Georgia,” said Ian McLeod, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers. “This was not an easy decision for us, as we have the utmost respect for our associates who serve our customers in these stores so well. In the approach by K-VA-T, we believe we have identified a strong partner to ensure these 29 stores and our associates are positioned for continued success under another reputable regional brand." McLeod also expressed thanks to "all of our hardworking Bi-Lo associates for their dedication and support over many years."
The 29 transferring stores are as follows:
- 7804 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga
- 6951 Lee Highway, Chattanooga
- 1600 East 23rd Street, Chattanooga
- 4510 Highway 58, Chattanooga
- 703 Signal Mountain Road, Chattanooga
- 3801 Tennessee Avenue, Chattanooga
- 3600 Hixson Pike, Chattanooga
- 4011 Brainerd Road, Chattanooga
- 255 Ocoee Crossing North, Cleveland
- 2310 McGrady Drive, Cleveland
- 420 Market Street, Dayton
- 6723 Ringgold Road, East Ridge
- 3715 Ringgold Road, East Ridge
- 841 U.S. 411 North, Etowah
- 8634 Highway 58, Harrison
- 5604 Hixson Pike, Hixson
- 8530 Hixson Pike, Hixson
- 1667 Ooltewah-Ringgold, Ooltewah
- 9213 Lee Highway, Ooltewah
- 3901 Dayton Boulevard, Red Bank
- 10161 Old Dayton Pike, Soddy Daisy
- 342 Blue Ridge Street, Blairsville
- 502 G.I. Maddox Parkway, Chatsworth
- 1287 N. Glenwood Avenue, Dalton
- 531 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe
- 311 North Main Street, LaFayette
- 319 Chickamauga Avenue, Rossville
- 820 Mission Ridge Road, Rossville
- 112 Crimson Drive, Trenton
K-VA-T Food Stores operates in three states under the Food City banner. The privately held, family-owned company has grown over the years by expansion and acquisition. With 15 units in southeastern Kentucky, 27 units in southwest Virginia and 62 units in east Tennessee, K-VA-T is an acronym of its trade area: Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. The 104-store chain includes 93 Food City locations (with 79 pharmacies and 84 fuel/convenience stores), 10 Super Dollar Discount Foods limited assortment stores and one wine and spirits store. The self-distributing chain also operates its own 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in Abingdon, Va.
Southeastern Grocers, parent company and home of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, is the fifth-largest conventional supermarket chain in the U.S. and the second-largest conventional supermarket in the southeast based on store count. The company employs nearly 72,000 associates who serve customers in approximately 790 grocery stores, 143 liquor stores and 527 in-store pharmacies throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.