One of Fort Mill’s longest tenured grocery stores in closing.
Southeastern Grocers confirmed May 1 what had been rumored for several weeks prior – that the Bi-Lo at 1329 S.C. 160 West is closing.
Joe Caldwell, spokesperson for Bi-Lo, said his company doesn’t have information on what future store may go in the space they are leaving.
“As we do not own it, we would not want to speculate on what will happen to the space once we no longer occupy it,” he said.
Kerri Robusto with Clear Springs Development Group said on Monday there aren’t yet plans in place for what will replace the Bi-Lo. Another grocery store would make sense, but nothing is signed on at present, Robusto said.
“The easiest thing certainly would be a grocery store, but at this point we just don't know,” she said.
“This decision was not made lightly,” said Fred Shropshier, regional vice president for Bi-Lo West.
“Our associates are always the first to know of any changes at our stores and have been made aware of the closure and are encouraged to apply for the open positions we have in our network of neighboring Bi-Lo stores.”
When the store closes, the nearest Bi-Lo locations will be one each in Rock Hill, Pineville, N.C., and Charlotte. There are nine stores within 20 miles. The Fort Mill store will close this summer.
“The closure is scheduled to take place in June,” Shropshier said. “Until the store closes, we will work hard to continue delivering the great service and value our customers have come to expect.”
Resident Trevor Freeze said it will be sad to see the grocery store close.
“It's our closest store,” Freeze said. “But the price of development, I guess.”
Freeze is still deciding whether to shop more instead at nearby Publix or Harris Teeter locations, or even the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Fort Mill. About half his grocery shopping is a quick trip to the nearest store, he said.
Bi-Lo has anchored Peach Tree Plaza for over a decade. Prior to that, the space was occupied by a Winn-Dixie store. A Bi-Lo that closed in Rock Hill a couple of years ago became a Publix.
The loss of the Bi-Lo still leaves Fort Mill and Tega Cay with a Publix, three Harris-Teeter stores, a Food Lion, Aldi, Wal-Mart and a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.
Southeastern Grocers includes Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie locations — they merged in 2012 — along with the Harveys and Fresco y Mas brands. The company has more than 700 stores in seven Southeastern states.