Publix officials are examining the three Bi-Lo stores it recently purchased in York County to determine whether they can be renovated or more extensive work is needed.
Publix announced in September it was buying seven Bi-Lo stores in York and Mecklenburg counties, immediately increasing its presence in the region. Last year, Publix opened its first two stores in the region, in Indian Land and then Fort Mill.
Spokesperson Brenda Reid said each Bi-Lo location was being evaluated, but no decision has been reached about what Publix will do at each site.
Reid said the transfer date for each store will be different. A company website anticipates the Cherry Road store in Rock Hill will open early in 2014 while the Heckle Boulevard and Lake Wylie locations are listed as late 2015.
Reid said hiring for the stores will happen closer to their projected opening date. For management positions, Publix typically promotes from within.
Grocery stores in the Carolinas have undergone numerous changes recently.
Wal-Mart recently announced it wants to build one of its neighborhood market stores on Celanese Road, near a Harris-Teeter location. Wal-Mart still needs approval from the city to build there.
The day before Bi-Lo and Publix announced their deal, Bi-Lo purchased 22 Piggly Wiggly locations in South Carolina and Georgia, including the store in Clover.
Harris-Teeter also acquired seven Piggly Wiggly stores in the Charleston area. Kroger has acquired Harris-Teeter.
The deal gives Publix five stores in York County, compared to nine for Food Lion. Delhaize, Food Lions parent company, has recently been selling stores, with Bi-Lo acquiring 165, most of them in Florida.
Harris-Teeter and Wal-Mart both have four locations in York County.
Bi-Lo will continue to operate the Rock Hill store on East Main Street in Rock Hill, as well as two each in York and Lancaster and one each in Fort Mill and Chester.
Don Worthington • 803-329-4066