BI-LO (United States)
|Headquarters||Jacksonville, Florida, United States|
|Number of locations||690 (including Winn-Dixie as of December 2011)|
|Area served||Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee|
|Products||Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, general grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor|
|Revenue||$3.6 billion USD (2006)|
|Owner(s)||Lone Star Funds and lenders|
|Employees||63,000 (including Winn-Dixie as of December 2011)|
BI-LO (/ / BUY-LOW) is a supermarket chain owned by Southeastern Grocers Inc. and headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, United States. As of March 9, 2012, the company operates 207 supermarkets under the BI-LO brand in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, and 485 stores under the Winn-Dixie brand in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. The company employs approximately 63,000 people altogether. Supermarket News ranked BI-LO (prior to its merger with Winn-Dixie) No. 34 in the 2007 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2006 fiscal year estimated sales of $3.6 billion. Previously the headquarters were in Mauldin, South Carolina, near Greenville.
BI-LO was founded in 1961 by Frank L. Outlaw. The original name was Wrenn & Outlaw. The company was officially named BI-LO in 1963 after Outlaw conducted an employee store-naming contest to develop the "brand." His secretary, Edna Plumblee, won the contest by submitting the name "BI-LO."
BI-LO was sold to Ahold (a Dutch retail food conglomerate) in 1977. In 1994, Ahold purchased Red Food Stores, Inc. and merged its locations (around 55 of them) in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee into BI-LO the following year. In 2001, Ahold purchased the Birmingham, Alabama based Bruno's Supermarkets chain and combined its operations with BI-LO.
In 2003, BI-LO invested in redesigning its store layout to attract high end customers. The result was the new Super BI-LO concept of a larger store layout featuring a greater selection of healthier foods, specialty foods and organic foods. Since then the company has opened new Super BI-LO branded stores as well as remodeled older stores in affluent neighborhoods.
Throughout late 2004 and 2005, the company gradually phased out its private label "BI-LO" brand for its store products and replaced them with new packaging and a new name, "Southern Home." In 2005, Ahold sold BI-LO/Bruno's to Lone Star Funds. In order to concentrate on renovating older stores, building new ones, and investing in newer information technology, the new owners sold off 104 BI-LO and Bruno's stores in areas where the chain did not have significant market penetration as well as the three BI-LO/Bruno's distribution centers to grocery wholesaler, C&S Wholesale Grocers who converted some of the stores to Southern Family Markets. Included in the sell-off were all stores in the Knoxville, TN area which nearly all were immediately occupied by Food City stores. As of 2010, one location in the area has not been leased to any business in five years, in part due to Food City already owning a former Winn-Dixie location just a short walk away.
On March 21, 2007, Lone Star Funds announced that they were spinning off the 67 Bruno's Supermarkets and Food World stores from BI-LO LLC into a separate company to be based out of Birmingham. On April 16, 2007, Lone Star announced that they were putting the 230-store BI-LO chain up for sale. Soon after, C&S announced that it was closing the Chattanooga distribution center that served the BI-LOs in the Chattanooga area and portions of North Georgia.
On March 23, 2009, the company announced that it had filed chapter 11 bankruptcy and intends to use the court-supervised process to address "an upcoming debt maturity." The move was largely due to the current credit crisis. The company said that expects its stores and regular operations to continue to operate as usual during the process. The company secured a $100 million loan from GE Capital in order to continue paying wages, salaries, benefits, suppliers, and vendors. In October 2009, Delhaize Group, headquartered in Belgium and owner of competing chain Food Lion, announced that it entered a preliminary, non-binding agreement to purchase $425 million worth of assets from the chain. Shortly after, in November 2009, the company filed plans with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to restructure, with parent company Lone Star Funds providing a $350 million cash infusion, and Delhaize Group and Food Lion left out of the plans. Lone Star Funds said that it was possible that BI-LO could emerge from bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2010.
On May 12, 2010, the company officially emerged from bankruptcy protection, under a plan approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of South Carolina. BI-LO, a Supermarket News Top 75 Retailer for 2010, remains under ownership of Lone Star Funds after restructuring. BI-LO was reportedly put up for sale in August 2010; Kroger and Publix were said to be interested in acquiring the chain, but nothing ever developed from these rumors.
Acquisition of Winn-Dixie
On December 19, 2011 it was announced that BI-LO and Winn-Dixie would merge to create an organization with some 690 grocery stores and 63,000 employees in eight states throughout the southeastern United States. BI-LO will purchase Winn-Dixie for USD$530 million, and operate Winn-Dixie as a subsidiary with its stores maintaining the Winn-Dixie name. It was later announced that the joint companies' headquarters would be relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, where Winn-Dixie's current headquarters are. In early 2013, BI-LO phased out its own private label soft drinks in its BI-LO stores in favor of the "Chek" brand used by Winn-Dixie.
On May 28, 2013 it was announced that BI-LO was acquiring the Harveys, Sweetbay, and Reid's banners from Delhaize Group for USD$265 million. All stores were to remain open under their respective banners until the transaction closed.
Acquisition of Piggly Wiggly Carolina stores
In September 2013, Bi-Lo Holdings, LLC announced an agreement to buy 22 supermarkets in South Carolina and Georgia from the Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. Inc. for $35 million. One Piggly Wiggly store in Lexington, South Carolina was closed due to close proximity to other BI-LO stores.
That same month, BI-LO announced they entered into an agreement to sell seven BI-LO branded stores in the Charlotte market to Publix. The deal is expected to close in October 2013. The stores are located in Charlotte, NC, Huntersville, NC, Matthews, NC, Lake Wylie, SC, and Rock Hill, SC.
Taking the Company Public
In September 2013, Southeastern Grocers Inc. was created by Lone Star Funds as the new parent company for BI-LO and Winn-Dixie. The new parent company then filed to raise as much as $500 million in an U.S. initial public offering and list its common stock under the "SEG" symbol in a currently unknown exchange.
- BI-LO (South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee)
- Harveys Supermarkets (Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina)
- Reid's (South Carolina)
- Sweetbay Supermarket (Florida)
- Winn-Dixie (Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi)
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2011)|
BI-LO has offered its BI-LO Bonuscard discount program since the 1990s. In 2009, the chain re-vamped the card and started its "FuelPerks" campaign, in which the store partners with local gas station chains and when shoppers spend a certain amount at BI-LO, they receive 5, 10, 15 cents or more off of up to 20 gallons of gas at participating stations. As of September 2011, the FuelPerks program in the Carolinas has switched from the promotional cooperation with BP to Shell.
- "Winn-Dixie Supermarket Chain Sold, To Go Private". Associated Press. NPR. 2011-12-19. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Press Releases, Bi-Lo.com
- 2007 Top 75 North American Food Retailers, Supermarket News, Last accessed February 24, 2007.
- "Contact Us." BI-LO. January 5, 2006. Retrieved on October 5, 2012. "Shipping Address: BI-LO, LLC 208 BI-LO Blvd. Greenville, SC 29607"
- "Zoning and Parcels Map." (Archive) City of Mauldin. Retrieved on October 5, 2012.
- Ahold to Buy U.S. Chain, The New York Times, February 22, 1994
- Ahold in U.S.A., accessed September 10, 2006
- BI-LO Invests In Redesign, Times Free Press January 25, 2008
- Lone Star Funds agrees to buy Bruno's from Ahold, Birmingham Business Journal, December 23, 2004
- C&S affiliate buys stores, press release dated May 3, 2005
- Execs leave Bi-Lo; Bruno's spun off, Chattanooga Times Free Press March 21, 2007
- Local BI-LO Warehouses Closing, The Chattanoogan April 16, 2007
- "Bi-Lo Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". SupermarketNews.com. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- http://www.greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090324/BUSINESS/303240002&s=d&page=2[dead link]
- Delhaize To Buy $425M Worth Of Assets From BI-LO[dead link]
- "Bi-Lo plan excludes Food Lion deal". Charlotte Business Journal. November 24, 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Bi-Lo Emerges From Chapter 11". SupermarketNews.com. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Bi-Lo Emerges From Chapter 11". SupermarketNews.com. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "SN's Top 75 Retailers for 2010". SupermarketNews.com. 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Bi-Lo on the Block: Source, Supermarket News August 10, 2010
- "Bi‐Lo And Winn‐Dixie Agree To Merge". BI-LO. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Egan, Matt (2011-12-19). "BI-LO Buys Winn-Dixie for $530 Million; Deal Translates to 75% Premium". Fox Business. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Grocery wars: Tampa's Sweetbay sold to Winn-Dixie parent Tampa Bay Times, May 28, 2013
- Transaction Fact Sheet ThePig.net, September 12, 2013
- One of 22 stores Bi-Lo is buying from Piggly Wiggly is closing The Post and Courier, October 10, 2013
- Publix and Bi-Lo Holdings Announce Sale of Seven BI-LO Stores in the Carolinas Publix.com, September 13, 2013
- "Southeastern Grocers Files to Raise $500 Million in U.S. IPO". Bloomberg.com. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "Winn-Dixie operator Southeastern Grocers files for $500 million IPO". Reuters.com. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2013-10-13.