Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Could Kroger and/or Publix be headed to Charlotte?

Reuters is reporting that Mauldin, S.C.-based Bi-Lo is up for sale again. If you recall, last year Food Lion was announced as a potential bidder for Bi-Lo until Lone Star Funds, Bi-Lo's parent company, announced that Bi-Lo was no longer for sale. The chain has been teetering on highs and lows, while expanding their stores in some markets such as Columbia they have completely pulled out of other markets like the Triad after selling their stores to the failed Southern Family Markets. Reuters reports that Bi-Lo emerged from bankruptcy in March of this year.

Kroger and Publix are reportedly the top contenders for Bi-Lo. If this is the case, it brings the potential for Publix to enter the Charlotte market and for Kroger to reenter the market. However, we're not sure if this exactly will happen as it might be more likely and logical for grocery stores that are currently in the market to take over stores, most notably stores that already have: Food Lion/Bloom, Super G Mart, Compare Foods. Bi-Lo has closed a number of stores in the Charlotte region in recent times, two on Independence Boulevard, one in Dilworth and one on Little Rock Road to name a few. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what continues to unfold in the Bi-Lo saga.

Reuters Article


Groceteria said...

I have to agree. I can't really imagine Kroger or Publix being particularly interested in most of Bi-Lo's Charlotte locations; they're not exactly prime real estate of the sort these two chains generally seek.

It would be kind of funny, though, if any of the stores Bi-Lo purchased from Kroger in 1988 were still open (Albemarle Road, maybe?) and somehow managed to make the transition back to Kroger. Not likely, mind you, but an entertaining thought anyway.

Steven Swain said...

I can see some existing players picking up the more desirable locations, but I don't see a Kroger or Publix invasion. Then again, Kroger came back into Richmond with a bunch of clunker locations, quickly expanded and relocated, and overtook Ukrops and Food Lion.

Anonymous said...

Except for the Super Bi-Lo in Matthews, does Bi-Lo have any locations in the Charlotte area that aren't in need of major renovation before anyone else takes over?

I'd sooner expect to see another player take over Lowe's Foods in order to enter the Charlotte market.