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Publix to buy 7 Bi-Lo stores in Charlotte market, including 2 in Rock Hill

In the latest round of grocery store wars in the Charlotte market, Publix appears to be the next big player.

In October 2012, Publix Super Markets expanded into York and Lancaster Counties, opening new stores in Fort Mill and Indian Land.

And now, under an agreement announced Friday, the grocer plans to expand with seven new stores in the North-South Carolina region.

The agreement, according to a statement from Publix, calls for the Lakeland, Fla., chain to purchase seven Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie grocery stores.

“Publix has a strong financial foundation that allows us to aggressively grow throughout existing markets and our new Charlotte Division,” said Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “Publix offers differentiating services we know our customers have come to expect from us like premier service, valuable savings, quality products and knowledgeable associates. We’re excited to continue building life-long relationships with our Carolina customers and communities.”

Among the seven to be converted to Publix stores: Bi-Lo stores on Cherry Road and Heckle Blvd. in Rock Hill.

Other locations to be converted include Bi-Lo lcoations on Hwy. 274 in Lake Wylie, S. Tryon Street in Charlotte, York Road in Charlotte, Rose Commons Drive in Huntersville and Fincher Farm Road in Mathews.

The deal, according to Publix, should close by October.

“We have and will continue to fine-tune our company and network of stores so that we can reinvest in what matters most for our customers. Examples are our recent announcements to acquire 165 stores from Delhaize Group and 22 stores from Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company,” said Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Bi-Lo Holdings.

Earlier this week, Bi-Lo announced the purchase of nearly a half-dozen Piggly Wiggly stores in the Charleston market.

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