There was a split in the RetailWire community back in late 2011 when BI-LO Holdings announced it was acquiring Winn-Dixie. Some thought the combination of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie would provide the company with added purchasing power needed to compete in the marketplace. Others thought that the combination of two chains, which had struggled in recent years (BI-LO emerged from Chapter 11 in 2010, Winn-Dixie in 2006), would result in one larger, but not stronger organization. With this week's announcement that BI-LO Holdings has reached a deal to acquire 165 stores operating under the Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's banners from Delhaize America, it appears as though the company is satisfied enough with the progress from the earlier deal to move on to others.
"We are pleased to announce this transaction, which will build on the strength of our BI-LO and Winn-Dixie stores and allow us to extend our great products at great value to a broader customer base," said Randall Onstead, president and CEO of BI-LO Holdings, in a statement. "Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's are well-recognized and trusted businesses that share our passion for exceptional service."
BI-LO Holdings currently operates 686 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The 165 new locations being acquired will increase store counts for the company in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
"This [acquisition] does allows us to go into different areas of the Southeast," Brian Wright, a spokesperson for Winn-Dixie, told The Florida Times-Union.
Earlier this month, BI-LO Holdings announced it had reached a deal to have C&S Wholesale Grocers supply Winn-Dixie's stores. C&S has supplied BI-LO since 2005. It appears likely the company would use C&S to supply the stores being acquired from Delhaize.
Will the deal to acquire the 165 stores from Delhaize America make BI-LO Holdings a stronger or weaker competitor in the grocery market?