April 23, 2018

Underperforming upstate BI-LO stores among 94 closing for Chapter 11 restructuring

17 March 2018, 01:32 | Lionel James

Winn-Dixie in Biloxi is closing along with 93 other stores in the region | The Sun Herald


The grocery chain, which is the parent company of Winn-Dixie and Harveys, announced the closures Thursday as part of a restructuring plan created to allow more than 500 other locations to keep their doors open.

As part of a major restructuring and planned bankruptcy, the owner of Bi-Lo said it is closing 94 underperforming stores, including six in the Charlotte area.

A spokesperson for Southeastern Grocers did not disclose how many employees will be affected.

Shoppers who frequent the Harveys on Edgewood Avenue are taking advantage of the store's location while they still can.

Bloomberg reported last month that the grocery chain may file for bankruptcy and close 200 stores.

Bi-Lo's decision to close six local stores could exacerbate a problem Charlotte already has with serving lower-income areas with little access to fresh groceries - also known as food insecure areas.

The Florida-based company said it's implementing "a court-supervised, prepackaged" debt restructuring agreement.

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The company expects to file under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code by the end of March, and complete the restructuring in 90 days. "We will continue every day to provide our associates with a great place to work and our customers with a store experience they can count on".

According to SEG's list of store closures, the Winn-Dixie at 619 N. Causeway Boulevard in Mandeville and the Winn-Dixie located at 2384 Pass Road in Biloxi will close.

Southeastern aims to reduce its debt by $500 million, allowing it to increase its capital expenditures budget for new stores and store remodels.

The only Winn-Dixie store closing in MS is a location in Biloxi.

"Southeastern Grocers is faced with a critical milestone in its transformation, and we have made choices for our future and long-term growth potential", president/CEO Anthony Hucker said Thursday evening in a statement.

Thursday's announcement actually mentioned plans to remake many stores during a three-year overhaul of the chain.

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