CHARLESTON, S.C. — The sale of 28 stores to Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter will allow Piggly Wiggly Carolina here to put itself in a better financial position for the future, an advisor to the company told SN.
Following the divestitures, employee-owned Piggly Wiggly Carolina will continue to operate 32 corporately owned stores — primarily in rural markets — and to supply 28 franchise customers. The company initiated the acquisition discussions as a means of addressing debt incurred as a result of its ESOP conversion along with increasing competition, particularly around Charleston, Mark Gross of Surry Investment Advisors, Piggly Wiggly’s financial advisor in the deal, told SN.
“Coming into the Charleston market are well-funded competitors — Publix, Harris Teeter and a post-bankruptcy, revitalized, re-energized Bi-Lo,” he said. “Those three in particular brought added competitive pressure in a market where a small ESOP finds it more and more difficult to compete with bigger, more well-funded successful grocery chains.”
Both Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter said they would retain workers at the stores they are to acquire.
As reported by SN on Thursday, Piggly Wiggly Carolina agreed to sell 22 stores to Bi-Lo Holdings, Jacksonville, Fla., and six stores to Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Matthews, N.C. Financial terms were not disclosed.
All Piggly Wiggly employees at affected stores will have job opportunities with Harris Teeter and Bi-Lo, Piggly Wiggly said.
”The departure of employees and stores from the Piggly Wiggly team will be acutely felt, but we know that both Harris Teeter and Bi-Lo will benefit from these outstanding folks,” said David Schools, president and chief executive of Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. “We are glad that all store employees affected by this transaction will have the opportunity to work for Harris Teeter and Bi-Lo, and guests will continue to be served by the familiar people who have been the backbone of these stores for years.”
Following is a list of stores being sold:
• Piggly Wiggly to Harris Teeter (Six locations, plus one under construction):
1220 Ben Sawyer Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
1739 Maybank Hwy., James Island, S.C.
1985 Folly Rd., Folly Beach, S.C.
1005 Harborview Rd., James Island, S.C.
1981 Riviera Dr., Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Newton Farms, 130 Gardeners Cir., Johns Island, S.C.
Under Construction: Newton Farms, 1505 Palm Blvd., Isle of Palms, S.C.
• Piggly Wiggly to Bi-Lo (22 locations):
445 Meeting St., Charleston, S.C.
630 Skylark Dr., Charleston, S.C.
115 Willbrook Blvd., Pawleys Island, S.C.
208 E. McIntyre St., Mullins, S.C.
50 Burnt Church Rd., Bluffton, S.C.
9616 Hwy. 78, Ladson, S.C.
3386 Railroad Ave., Bamberg, S.C.
7360 Skidaway Rd., Isle of Hope, Ga.
4415 Augusta St., Garden City, Ga.
5214 US Hwy. 17, Darien, Ga.
104 Jungle Rd., Edisto Beach, S.C.
3353 Hwy. 72/221 East, Greenwood, S.C.
1042 W. Hwy. 80. Pooler, Ga.
4360 Augusta Rd., Lexington, S.C.
518 N. Wheeler Ave., Prosperity, S.C.
2142 E. Victory Dr., Savannah, Ga.
3575 Maybank Hwy., Johns Island, S.C.
312 South Veterans Blvd., Glennville, Ga.
615 Harry C. Raysor Dr. S., St. Matthews, S.C.
760 Hwy. 378, Lexington, S.C.
136 S. Main St., Clover, S.C.
4711 Forest Dr., Columbia, S.C.
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