Local News

Winn-Dixie will stay in Lake Placid and Wauchula

SEBRING - Two weeks after the conversion began, Sweetbays in Sebring and Lake Placid are now Winn-Dixie grocers.

Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie announced in May 2013 it would pay Delhaize $265 million for Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's.

After the Federal Trade Commission complained that Bi-Lo's proposed acquisition of 11 stores in three states would likely harm consumers through higher prices, diminished quality and reduced service, Bi-Lo agreed to sell Sweetbays in Arcadia, Dunnellon, Lake Placid, Madison, and Wauchula, to Rowe's IGA.

However, said Kelly Bell, Bi-Lo corporate communications manager, Rowe's IGA "recently notified us that it is not proceeding with the transaction."

Therefore, the Lake Placid and Dunnellon Sweetbays were closed for the conversion on April 5 and reopened as Winn-Dixies on April 11.

The Arcadia and Wauchula stores will be closed on April 12 and reopen as a Winn-Dixie on April 18.

The Sebring Sweetbay on U.S. 27 South closed on March 29 and reopened as a Winn-Dixie last week.

In the supermarket shuffle, seven Bi-Lo stores in North Carolina and South Carolina were sold to Publix.

In September 2013 Bi-Lo agreed to buy 22 supermarkets in South Carolina and Georgia from the Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. Inc. for $35 million.

In 2011, Bi-Lo purchased Winn-Dixie for $530 million. The merger created an organization with 690 grocery stores and 63,000 employees in eight states throughout the southeastern United States. The merged company was based at Winn-Dixie's former headquarters in Jacksonville.

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.

With headquarters in Jacksonville, Bi-Lo owns 697 supermarkets in the southeastern United States.

Delhaize America, a subsidiary of Belgian grocery store operator Delhaize, owns and operates 1,553 supermarkets in the Northeast and Southeast under the banners Food Lion, Harveys, Reid's, Hannaford and Bottom Dollar Food.