COLUMBIA — One Bi-Lo in the Midlands seems to be shutting down while another store prepares to close temporarily to join the Food Lion chain.
The Bi-Lo location at 7830 Garners Ferry Road in southeast Columbia has signs posted saying it will close Feb. 14. No acquisition of that site has been announced, and employees have not been told of any conversion of the store to another brand, a staff member said.
The former "Gamecock" Bi-Lo at 4400 Devine St. is closing by Feb. 7 for re-fit into a Food Lion location. No date for the grocery to reopen has been announced yet, a staff member said.
Food Lion announced its acquisition of Bi-Lo's Devine Street store and three others in the Midlands in June, saying employees would be asked to switch over to Food Lion.
In addition to the Devine Street store, Food Lion is acquiring store locations at 6021 St. Andrews Road in Columbia, 300 Knox Abbot Drive and 2453 Charleston Highway in Cayce.
Both the Devine Street and Garners Ferry stores are holding inventory clearance sales, offering discounts from 15 percent to 30 percent on many items. There's no similar sale going on at its St. Andrews Road store.
Bi-Lo, a brand that has its roots in Upstate South Carolina, is being wound down as a separate grocery chain by its owner, Southeastern Grocers of Jacksonville, Fla.
An email to the parent company for comment was not returned immediately.
In September 2020, Southeastern announced the sale of 23 locations to buyers including KJ’s Market IGA and Lowes Foods.
Some former Bi-Lo stores in the Midlands already have reopened under their new brands, such as the former Bi-Lo at the Village at Sandhill, which is now open as a Lowes Foods.