Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers is continuing to reduce its footprint, with an announcement it is selling 22 Bi-LO stores and one Harveys Supermarket in South Carolina and Georgia.
Alex Lee, Inc. is buying the bulk of the stores, with one Harveys and two of the BI-LOs being sold to B&T Foods. None of the Jacksonville Harveys are included in the sale.
The stores will be transitioned to the Alex Lee Inc. and B&T Foods brands later this month, according to Southeastern Grocers.
The move follows the sale of 62 BI-LO and 1 Harveys in June to Food Lion.
Supermarket trade publications, including Supermarket News and Grocery Dive, have reported that shedding the BI-LO brand is part of a five-year strategy that Southeastern Grocers has undertaken since emerging from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2018.
While Southeastern Grocers spokesman Joe Caldwell didn’t directly confirm the BI-LO brand would disappear altogether, he did tell WJCT News Thursday that his company is continuing “the exploration of strategic options for the remainder of the BI-LO banner.”
Caldwell also said in a September 1 statement, “This marks continued momentum within our strategic shift to support our core banners.”
In a company news release, Southeastern Grocers said it will “continue to assess options for the remaining BI-LO stores, including other potential transactions.”
Winn-Dixie accounts for the largest presence of Southeastern Grocers’ stores on the First Coast. Southeastern Grocers introduced the Harveys Supermarket brand in Jacksonville following its merger with BI-LO back in 2012.
In South Florida, Southeastern Grocers also operates Fresco y Más, which offers Hispanic-focused grocery products.