The Piggly Wiggly in Bluffton will soon become a Bi-Lo

dburley@islandpacket.comSeptember 12, 2013 

The Piggly Wiggly off Burnt Church Road, Bluffton.

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Bi-Lo on Thursday purchased 22 Piggly Wiggly stores in Georgia and South Carolina, including the one on Burnt Church Road in Bluffton.

The Piggly Wiggly location in Beaufort and the two stores on Hilton Head Island were not among those Bi-Lo listed in its purchase.

Bi-Lo's transaction will give the company five stores in Beaufort County. It currently has two stores in Beaufort and two stores on Hilton Head, according to the grocer's website.

The acquired Piggly Wigglys will be rebranded under the Bi-Lo banner by the end of the year, according to a news release.

Bi-Lo also plans to take on the acquired stores' 1,200 employees, the release said.

Owned by private equity firm Lone Star Funds, Bi-Lo is the ninth-largest grocer in the United States and bought Winn-Dixie last year for more than $560 million.

Bi-Lo has 686 grocery stores throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Piggly Wiggly also is selling seven Charleston-area stores to Harris Teeter, which is in the process of being sold to Cincinnati-based Kroger Co.

The sales prices were not disclosed.

Piggly Wiggly will be left with 26 corporate-owned supermarkets in South Carolina and one in Georgia. It will continue to service and distribute inventory to 31 independently owned stores in the franchise, mostly in the Palmetto State, officials said.

The Charleston Post & Courier contributed to this story.

Follow reporter Dan Burley on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Dan.

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