As part of the strategic transformation that Southeastern Grocers began three months ago, the company announced the sale of 20 of its Bi-Lo grocery stores to Alex Lee Company and another three to B&T Foods.
The 20 Bi-Lo grocery stores acquired by Alex Lee are located in South Carolina and Georgia and will continue to operate under the Bi-Lo banner until the transaction is completed in November.
Alex Lee, which is based in Hickory, North Carolina, is the parent company of KJ’s Market and Lowes Food. The family business plans to operate 15 of the stores under the KJ’s Market banner and the remaining five will become Lowes Foods supermarkets, according to media reports.
“We are excited to add these new locations to our retail store portfolio,” Alex Lee President and CEO Brian George said in a press release. “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.”
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Alex Lee spokesman Scott Carpenter told the WCSC news channel that the company expects to hire more than 2,000 employees for the 20 supermarkets and plans to meet with Bi-Lo workers to offer them employment opportunities at those locations.
In June, Southeastern Grocers announced the sale of 46 Bi-Lo stores located in the Carolinas and Georgia to Food Lion, to increase its investment in the growth of its other three supermarket chains, Fresco y Más, Harveys and Winn-Dixie.
“We are confident that the acquirers will continue serving these communities with the same commitment to service, quality, and value our customers have counted on so for long,” said Joe Caldwell, Director of Corporate Communications and Government Affairs for SEG, according to the Greenville News. “Equally important, this marks continued momentum within our strategic shift to support our core banners.”