Business

Harveys Supermarkets opens first store in Charlotte

Harveys Supermarkets, which focuses on low prices, has a $1 Zone, where 650 items are priced $1, including beverages, canned goods, cleaners, meals, greeting cards, baby and health items.
Harveys Supermarkets, which focuses on low prices, has a $1 Zone, where 650 items are priced $1, including beverages, canned goods, cleaners, meals, greeting cards, baby and health items.

A Jacksonville, Fla.-based discount grocery store opened its first store in North Carolina this week, becoming the latest grocer to join the competitive Charlotte market.

Harveys Supermarkets unveiled its new location at 1620 Ashley Rd. in Charlotte on Wednesday at a ribbon cutting ceremony that Mayor Jennifer Roberts attended.

Harveys’ parent company, Southeastern Grocers, is also the parent company of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie, and the new store was formerly a BI-LO until Tuesday.

“Our customers in this neighborhood were telling us they needed a change,” said Joe Caldwell a spokesperson for Southeastern Grocers. “We wanted to invest in this location to provide the west Charlotte neighborhood with a new, innovative store.”

The company said it will be hiring 40 new workers at the location, which is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Harveys Supermarkets focuses on low prices and has a $1 Zone, where 650 items are priced $1, including beverages, canned goods, cleaners, meals, greeting cards, baby and health items.

The store also has a pricing campaign called “Low and Staying Low,” where prices on 850 popular products are reduced and the prices stay at lower prices for at least six months.

Caldwell, the Southeastern Grocers spokesman, said the store is serving as a pilot for the Charlotte market, but he declined to say whether the company is planning to develop more stores in the region.

The pilot “could lead to additional stores in the future depending on customer response,” he said.

Southeastern Grocers, known as Bi-Lo Holdings LLC until 2015, is owned by the Dallas-based private equity fund Lone Star Funds.

Bi-Lo Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009, a move it attributed in part to the ongoing financial crisis.

In 2010, the company emerged from bankruptcy, and a year later it purchased the Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie for $560 million.

BI-LO, the grocery store, has scaled back its presence in the Charlotte area in recent years, but it still has more than 20 stores within 25 miles of the city, according to its web site.

In 2015, BI-LO was tied for the 5th biggest market share in Charlotte with 5.6 percent, while Harris Teeter had the largest market share with 19.4 percent.

Southeastern Grocers has 750 grocery stores, pharmacies and liquor stores throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Harveys is the latest grocery store chain to enter the competitive Charlotte market. Florida-based Publix has been building a presence, and German discount grocer Lidl is planning to open its first store in the Charlotte market in 2018.

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