Gainesville Sweetbay soon will be converted to a Winn-Dixie
Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 3:33 p.m.
Bi-Lo Holdings received regulatory approval Tuesday to buy 165 grocery stores from Delhaize Group, clearing the way for Sweetbay Supermarket stores to convert to Winn-Dixie stores by summer.
The conversions will take place sometime between March 22 and May 31, according to Winn-Dixie spokeswoman Tiffany Hutto.
The deal includes 72 Sweetbay stores and leases for 10 closed Sweetbay locations, 72 Harveys stores and 11 Reid's stores.
Bi-Lo will keep the Harveys name, including at the locations in Melrose and Lake City.
The Sweetbay stores in Gainesville, Ocala and Belleview will convert to Winn-Dixies.
The Dunnellon Sweetbay will become a Rowe's IGA, as will locations in Arcadia, Wauchula and Lake Placid, as part of an agreement for Bi-Lo to divest ownership in 12 stores included in the deal.
Jacksonville-based Bi-Lo and Brussels-based Delhaize Group announced the $265 million transaction agreement in May 2013 and received transaction approval from the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday.
Sweetbay stores will close for a short time to prepare to reopen as Winn-Dixie. These stores will keep Sweetbay employees.
Bi-Lo Holdings, parent of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, currently operates nearly 700 stores in the southeastern U.S. Bi-Lo bought the 480-store Winn-Dixie chain in December 2011.
Sweetbay was created from the Kash N' Karry brand in 2004, converting the Gainesville store at 2002 SW 34th St. in 2007.
The conversion will give Winn-Dixie three stores in Gainesville.