Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket stores to change hands
BATAVIA, Ill. — Aldi today announced it has agreed to acquire Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket locations from Southeastern Grocers, as the Jacksonville, Fla.-based retailer continues to divest supermarket assets.
The deal includes some 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket outlets across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, Aldi said in a statement announcing the definitive agreement between the companies.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2024, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.
“Like Aldi, Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket have long histories and many loyal customers in the Southeast and we look forward to serving them in the years to come,” said Jason Hart, chief executive officer at Aldi. “The time was right to build on our growth momentum and help residents in the Southeast save on their grocery bills. The transaction supports our long-term growth strategy across the United States, including plans to add 120 new stores nationwide this year to reach a total of more than 2,400 stores by year-end.”
Aldi said it is “doubling down” on its expansion plans at a time when many retailers shuttering stores due to economic concerns. The bullishness underscores Aldi’s position as one of the fastest-growing grocers in the country, the company said.
For Southeastern Grocers, the merger agreement represents a milestone in its transformational journey, said Anthony Hucker, the company’s president and CEO. “Aldi shares our vision to provide exceptional quality, service and value – and this unique opportunity will evolve our business to benefit our customers, associates and neighbors throughout the Southeast.”
Aldi has been expanding its footprint in the Southeast, including the recent opening of ts 26th regional headquarters and distribution center, in Loxley, Ala. The retailer said it has plans to open 20 new Aldi locations in the region by year’s end.
Added Hart, “Aldi will operate Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores with the same level of care and focus on quality and service, as we also evaluate which locations will convert to the Aldi format to better support the neighborhoods we’ll now have the privilege of serve. For those stores we do not convert, our intention is that these continue to operate as Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores.”
SEG is the parent company and home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serving consumers and communities in five Southeastern states.
The company has sold off a number of stores in recent years to improve its balance sheet. The company phased out its Bi-Lo banner as part of a five-year transformation plan initiated as the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018. Hucker, a former Schnuck Markets and Giant Food executive, had been brought on board the previous summer to lead the turnaround. SEG subsequently sold off some of its Harveys Supermarket locations and a distribution center to Ahold Delhaize USA’s Food Lion chain.
SEG has agreed to divest its Fresco y Más operations, via a sale of the banner that the company expects to close in the first quarter of 2024. The Fresco y Más banner, including all 28 stores and four pharmacies, will be sold to Fresco Retail Group LLC, an investment group focused on food and grocery. Fresco Retail Group, LLC plans for all stores and pharmacies in the Fresco y Más banner to continue operating as they are presently.