Bi-Lo Holdings' public relations agency has confirmed that Aiken's York Street Bi-Lo will not close, but instead will move into the York Street Reid's location.
It will be Reid's that will close instead of Bi-Lo, contrary to what a press release by the stores' parent company reported last month.
In a Feb. 25 press release, Bi-Lo Holdings announced it was closing 13 Bi-Lo, Harveys, Reid's, Sweetbay and Winn Dixie stores across South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. The press release included the July 12 closing of the Bi-Lo located at 1149 York St. in Aiken, but there was no mention of the nearby Reid's store at 1048 York St.
The company's PR agency, St. John & Partners, elaborated on the move and said it is part of the company's effort to retire the Reid's banner name.
“In October, we announced our intention to retire the Reid's banner name and convert Reid's stores to Bi-Lo stores,” said Kelly Bell, communications manager for the public relations agency. “Exact store schedules and timelines for conversions have not been released yet. We anticipate conversions will begin as early as March 22 and should be complete by May 31.”
While conversions are scheduled to take place by May 31, the press release stated that Aiken's York Street Bi-Lo isn't scheduled to close until July 12.
Reid's stores on average employ 85 people.
“We cannot provide an estimate for the number of employees in the Reid's location; however, the 85 associates per store average for the Bi-Lo locations is an accurate number,” Bell added. “Bi-Lo Holdings intends to retain all store-level associates within the stores being acquired and operated.”
The upcoming conversions and closures are part of an approval process with the Federal Trade Commission. The commission has allowed Bi-Lo Holdings to acquire several other supermarket chains including Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's from the Delhaize Group.
Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University.