A grocery store chain based in Hickory, N.C., is continuing to make a push into South Carolina by buying 20 Bi-Lo branded stores.
Alex Lee Inc. signed a purchase agreement Tuesday to purchase 18 Bi-Lo stores in South Carolina and two in the Augusta market from Southeastern Grocers Inc.
The company owns Lowes Foods stores, which has locations in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Myrtle Beach.
“We are excited to add these new locations to our retail store portfolio,” Alex Lee President and CEO Brian George said in a statement. “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.”
Alex Lee Inc. said the company plans to employ more than 2,000 people where the 20 Bi-Lo stores are located, and that number could include existing Bi-Lo employees. The locations will stay under the Bi-Lo brand for the time being. Alex Lee said the sales will be closed over a three-month period beginning in September.
After the sales close, 15 of the the Bi-Lo stores will be rebranded under the KJ’s Market IGA brand. Five will be converted to Lowes Foods Brand. Alex Lee also owns the W. Lee Flowers IGA distribution company in Florence County.
Locations to be converted to Lowes Foods:
Locations to be converted to KJ’s Market IGA: