Sweetbay sours, Winn-Dixie to take over

10/10/2013 09:39:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

The Sweetbay experiment appears to be over. Just a few months after Bi-Lo Holdings LLC announced an agreement to purchase the Tampa, Fla.-based retailer from the Delhaize Group, the company reportedly plans to rebrand Sweetbay stores under the Winn-Dixie banner.

The 11 Reid’s stores included in the purchase also are slated for a name change, to the company’s other banner, BI-LO. No changes have been announced for the 72 Harveys stores acquired in the deal, though the Tampa Tribune reported some may rebrand to BI-LO.

Sweetbay, a banner formerly called Kash n’ Karry, was rebranded Sweetbay about 10 years ago, but struggled to compete with Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets and Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Parent company Delhaize closed a third of the underperforming stores early in 2013, and put the rest up for sale. Bi-Lo Holdings picked up the stores for a reported $265 million.

Bi-Lo Holdings also recently announced plans for an initial public offering of stock, slated for early 2014.

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