Southeastern Grocers has sold an additional 23 Bi-Lo stores as part of its plan to divest of the brand.
The stores have been sold to Alex Lee Inc. and B&T Foods.
“We are excited to add these new locations to our retail store portfolio,” said Brian George, president and CEO, Alex Lee, Inc. “We have an opportunity to accelerate our growth in these markets while continuing to provide shoppers with a unique grocery shopping experience in their local communities.”
The stores will remain open as Bi-Lo stores until the transaction is complete, which is expected to take place over a staggered period from September to November 2020, pending customary closing requirements. Alex Lee plans to operate 15 of the stores under the KJ’s Market IGA brand and five stores under the Lowes Foods brand.
Alex Lee expects to hire more than 2,000 employees to continue to serve the communities where the 20 stores are located. Prior to the completion of the transaction, Alex Lee plans to meet with current Bi-Lo employees in those stores to discuss employment opportunities.
In June SEG announced plans to no longer operate stores under the Bi-Lo banner, but instead invest in its Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie banners. SEG continues to look for strategic options for its remaining Bi-Lo stores.
SEG operates 550 grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies throughout the seven southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company is No. 34 on The PG 100, while Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens Boots Alliance is No. 4 and Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 6.