Skip to main content

Greenville Business Magazine

Lowes Foods Parent Acquiring BI-LO Stores in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston

Sep 01, 2020 12:44PM ● By David Dykes

By David Dykes

Alex Lee, parent company of Lowes Foods, has signed an agreement to purchase the BI-LO store on Pelham Road in Greenville, choosing the location instead of opening a store as previously planned on former church property less than a half-mile away.

“Since we entered the Greenville market, we felt like the Pelham Road area would be a great place for a Lowes Foods,” said Tim Lowe, president of Lowes Foods. “We previously announced plans to develop a site at Pelham and Boiling Springs Road. When this store became available to us, we felt this would be the best way for us to open a store in this area.”

The site at Pelham and Boiling Springs will be actively marketed for sale, company officials said.

The officials also said that two BI-LO stores in the Charleston market and two in the Columbia market will undergo similar conversions to Lowes Foods in the coming months.

Alex Lee officials identified those locations as 120 Forum Drive in Columbia, 1419 Chapin Road in Chapin, 3125 Bees Ferry Road in Charleston, and 1000 Tanner Ford Blvd. in Hanahan.

The newly purchased stores will continue to operate as BI-LO until Lowes Foods completes the purchase this fall, the officials said. 

They said Lowes Foods will do a complete conversion of the BI-LO stores by next summer.

The Lowes at 3619 Pelham Road in Greenville will put the store directly across the street from an Earth Fare store that plans to reopen Sept. 2. 

In all, Alex Lee announced an agreement to purchase 20 BI-LO stores in South Carolina and Georgia from Southeastern Grocers, Inc.

“We are excited to add these new locations to our retail store portfolio,” said Brian George, Alex Lee's president and CEO. “We have an opportunity to accelerate our growth in these markets while continuing to provide shoppers with a unique grocery shopping experience in their local communities.”

The stores will remain open as BI-LO stores until the transaction is complete, which is expected to take place over a staggered period from September to November 2020, pending customary closing requirements, company officials said.

Alex Lee plans to operate 15 of the stores under the KJ’s Market IGA brand and five stores under the Lowes Foods brand.

Alex Lee said it expects to hire more than 2,000 employees to continue to serve the communities where the 20 stores are located.  Prior to the completion of the transaction, Alex Lee said it plans to meet with current BI-LO employees in those stores to discuss employment opportunities.

Founded in 1931, Alex Lee is a family-owned and operated company that employs approximately 14,000 people.

It serves as the parent company of Merchants Distributors, which provides full-service, wholesale distribution to supermarkets; Souto Foods, a distributor of authentic Hispanic foods; Lowes Foods, which operates full-service grocery stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia; and W. Lee Flowers, a wholesale distributor based in Scranton, South Carolina, which also owns and operates retail stores under the KJ’s Market and IGA brands. 

Alex Lee is based in Hickory, North Carolina.

Founded in 1954, Lowes Foods employs nearly 9,000 people and operates 74 full-service supermarkets in the Carolinas. 

Alex Lee acquisition of 20 stores from Southeastern Grocers

Locations to be converted to Lowes Foods

Milestone Plaza

3619 Pelham Road, Greenville, South Carolina 29615

(Greenville County)

120 Forum Drive, Columbia, South Carolina 29229

(Richland County)

Chapin Center

1419 Chapin Road, Chapin, South Carolina 29036

(Lexington County)


3125 Bees Ferry Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29414

(Charleston County)


Hanahan Crossing Shopping Center

1000 Tanner Ford Boulevard, Hanahan, South Carolina 29410

(Berkeley County)


Locations to be converted to KJ’s Market IGA

Lancer Square Shopping Center

1256 Highway 9 Bypass, West Lancaster, South Carolina 29720

(Lancaster County)


Belleview Square Shopping Center

1401 East Main Street, Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730

(York County)


110 South Highway 52, Suite B, Moncks Corner, South Carolina 29461

(Berkeley County)


Lyman Corners Shopping Center

12189 Greenville Highway, Lyman, South Carolina 29365

(Spartanburg County)


Rockville Center

1021 South Pendleton Street, Easley, South Carolina 29642

(Pickens County)


Northside Shopping Center

1048 York Street Northeast, Aiken, South Carolina 29801

(Aiken County)


Midland Valley Plaza Shopping Center

4435 Jefferson Davis Highway #11, Clearwater, South Carolina 29822

(Aiken County)


Lake Greenwood Shopping Center

3353 Highway 72 221 East, Greenwood, South Carolina 29649

(Greenwood County)


3575 Maybank Highway, Unit L, Johns Island, South Carolina 29455

(Charleston County)


New Ellenton Village Shopping Center

603 Main Street North, New Ellenton, South Carolina 29809

(Aiken County)


Pageland Plaza

501 South Pearl Street, Pageland, South Carolina 29728

(Chesterfield County)


55 Carolina Square, Edgefield, South Carolina 29824

(Edgefield County)


Twin City Crossing Shopping Center

249 West Columbia Avenue, Batesburg, South Carolina 29006

(Lexington County)


3457 Peach Orchard Road, Augusta, Georgia 30906

(Richmond County)


Windsor Place Shopping Center

2512 Tobacco Road, Hephzibah, Georgia 30815

(Richmond County)