Food Lion buys 62 Bi-Lo stores including Sumter's


Sumter's Bi-Lo is among the 62 Bi-Lo/Harveys Supermarket stores across three states that have been bought by Food Lion.

Food Lion announced the addition of the stores across the Carolinas and Georgia earlier this week and said in a news release that the stores will remain open through the transition, which is expected to take place over a staggered period from January to April 2021, pending regulatory approval and customary closing requirements. After the transition is complete, all stores will operate as Food Lions. Of those 62 stores, 38 are in South Carolina, including Sumter's store at 2055 Wedgefield Road.

Food Lion is adding these stores to its more than 630 already under the company's banner in the Carolinas and Georgia, according to Food Lion President Meg Ham. The North Carolina-based company has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs 77,000 associates.

"We've been serving customers in these larger regions for almost 60 years. We're thrilled to add these locations and serve even more towns and cities across these three states with fresh, quality products at affordable prices every day with the caring, friendly service customers expect from their local Food Lion," she said in the release.

The company is expecting to hire more than 4,650 associates to serve customers at the 62 new stores.

More than 20 years ago, Food Lion became the first grocery retailer in the country to establish a partnership with Feeding America to develop a retail food rescue program, and all stores in the Food Lion network are paired with a local feeding agency to receive donations through its retail food rescue program and support through its hunger-relief platform, Food Lion Feeds. Through its network of 30 Feeding America food bank partners across its 10-state footprint, Food Lion works to ensure that food that is unable to be sold in its stores but is perfectly safe to eat is donated to serve those in need.

"We believe no one should have to choose between dinner and rent and gas and groceries," Ham said. "That's why Food Lion recently announced a goal of providing 1 billion more meals through our hunger-relief platform, Food Lion Feeds, to feed our neighbors in need. As part of that commitment to the most vulnerable in our communities, these new stores will also be paired with local food bank partners."

Food Lion will be served by ADUSA Distribution LLC through the Mauldin distribution center once the transaction is complete. The distribution center will support the newly acquired 62 stores and Food Lion's network of stores. The handover is anticipated to be complete in the first half of 2021.