Parent company SEG seeks ‘transaction’ options for unsold BI-LO stores

 Laurens County, South Carolina – It was announced on Wednesday that North Carolina-based Food Lion is purchasing 62 BI-LO Stores or Harvey’s Supermarkets from its parent company,  Southeastern Grocers (SEG).
On Friday, a spokesman from SEG said the company doesn’t plan store closings in Clinton, Laurens and other locations at this point but hopes that BI-LO can be sold to other grocery companies, and a financial advisory company will assist.
“Southeastern Grocers is not closing any store locations as part of the transaction with Food Lion,” said Southeastern Grocers spokesperson Zachary Bingham. “Following the successful completion of the Food Lion transaction, Southeastern Grocers will pursue strategic options, including potential transactions,  for the remaining (61) BI-LO stores and (2) additional Harveys stores.”
 According to a release on the SEG website, financial advisory company, “PJ Solomon is managing the Company’s sale process for the remaining BI-LO stores.”
Bingham said, however, that will not occur right away.
   While the fate of the local grocery stores has not yet been determined, what is happening quickly is the closing of the chain’s 57 pharmacies.
“All BI-LO pharmacies are being divested to Walgreens and CVS,”  Bingham said, “and this transaction does involve the BI-LO pharmacy in the store at 1500 Western Square Drive (in Laurens).”
But the stores will still be open for business for now.
 “In the interim they will remain open and continue to operate normally,” Bingham said. “We are very early in this process.”
   A press release on Wednesday had initially explained that Food Lion had purchased the 62 stores from SEG as part of the Florida-based company’s plan to shut down the BI-LO chain. Stores were sold in the counties surrounding Laurens County. However, unsold in the deal were those in Laurens, Clinton, the Highway 72 store in Greenwood, Union, Woodruff,  and the Highway 14 Simpsonville store. Now SEG will attempt to sell the others.
  According to the SEG release, President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Hucker said there are no guarantees that the company’s ongoing changes will be easy. 
   “The successful execution of our long-term transformation strategy may at times require difficult decisions,” Hucker said. “These actions will facilitate greater investment in our remaining footprint so we can continue to provide an exceptional shopping experience our customers can always count on.”
   SEG, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., also owns Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores in addition to the BI-LO chain.
  According to a  Proogressivegrocer.com news story, within a week of announcing the sale of the 62 stores, SEG had announced the addition of eight new Winn-Dixie stores in Florida. One of them will be located in a Jacksonville community nearing food desert status.
   For the Upstate South Carolina stores which were included in the Food Lion transaction, transition to the Food Lion brand will begin between January and April 2020. Among the stores which will transition to Food Lion are BI-LO stores in Greenwood, Pelzer, Prosperity, Saluda, Greenville County stores such as Fountain Inn, two each in Simpsonville and Greenville, and others in Spartanburg County.

9 Comments

  1. LINDA K BROWNLEE on June 6, 2020 at 10:51 am

    It is really a shame that you can even think about closing Bilo stores in Laurens, Clinton and Woodruff. There are people in these smaller towns that depend on these stores. They are in walking distance. I was a produce manager, CSM and Asst Manager with the Laurens store and others for 20 years. Bilo has maintained the cleanliness and product coverage and pricing for so many years. It would be a real shame to close these stores. Clinton will be in a desperate situation there, leaving them only an old Ingles far from the town area and hard for the people to shop. Hopefully someone else will see the potential for these stores and come in where you can not. I know Bilo has faithfully served the communities for years and years and It is a shame they do not see the need there.

    • Former Store Manager on June 20, 2020 at 12:13 pm

      You obviousness haven’t worked for Bi-lo in a while. I recently left the company. It is not the Bi-lo I started with 25 years ago. The new leadership has run it into the ground due to it’s total disregard of it’s store employees and in turn it’s customers. Any chain that purchases the stores will be better for the employees and better for our community.

  2. Elea.nor on June 6, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Pleasedonotleavelaurensyouwillbemisskeepitopen

  3. Sharon Barton on June 13, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Our pharmacy is Bilo in Walterboro, SC. I cannot believe that this pharmacy will be closing! Rite Aid was purchased by Walgreens a few years ago, The Medicine Shop was purchased by CVS earlier this year. The Walgreens, Bilo and Wal Mart pharmacies stay extremely busy. This is a huge inconvenience to the people that live in Colleton County and surrounding areas. We don’t have many choices!

  4. Kimberly Cash on June 15, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Is the one in Landrum SC being bought by Food Lion?

    • Don on June 20, 2020 at 10:44 pm

      The Landrum store is not listed as one being bought by Food Lion.

  5. Classsy on June 18, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    It really shows this company’s disgrace and lack of care for the customers. I received the letter in the mail about my BI LO pharmacy closing a day before they even had the guts to tell the staff. I was ashamed to mention it as they thought I was joking around but when I showed them the letter is was shocking to say the least, I wish I wouldn’t had even brought it and they had no clue. The next day the store was done and after 12 years of service from the same staff I too was left in the cold. My prescriptions were due and I was told everything was transferred to Walgreens who haven’t received anything. It is now 12 days later and have been without my meds for this period making me a risk of health problems. I finally got to the doctor and explain with the letter from BI LO which cost the price of 2 visits to different doctors. They both explain what risk I was under having to have my meds stopped in such manner, they encourage me to seek legal help. BI LO cannot just close a pharmacy in a less than 24’s without making sure their customers have a chance to be taken care of. I had to get new meds sent in somewhere else so I am covered but as of today the fore mentioned Walgreens still have no record of my prescription yet from BI LO.

  6. Judge Rembert on June 25, 2020 at 1:22 am

    My friend in West Columbia, South Carolina had one day to change her prescriptions from her BiLo. The staff was told one day that they were fired the next day to move all the prescription of everybody. Spent their last day moving upset customers prescriptions. How SAD How disgusting. My friend is a cancer recovery story. She loved those staff members. They have all helped her. She cried for them having been so mistreated.

  7. Mary Ellen Hutchens on September 21, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Want to know please, what is going to happen to the store in Landrum? Like the store and the people who work there.
    have decent prices and fresh food. So what is up with this store?

    PS: not interested in going to Food Lion!

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