Southeastern Grocers (SEG) has entered into a restructuring support agreement with a group of its creditors. The retailer will close 94 stores, but the remaining 582 locations will continue operating without interruption.
The restructuring, which SEG hopes to exit within 90 days, will decrease the retailer’s debt levels by more than $500 million, freeing up capital to remodel stores in a significant portion of the grocer’s footprint over the next several years. The revitalization effort will include new concepts and products catering to local tastes and needs.
The grocer will shutter supermarkets across its entire seven-state operating area: 35 in Florida; 19 each in Georgia and South Carolina; 10 in Alabama; nine in North Carolina; and one each in Louisiana and Mississippi. All four of the retailer’s grocery banners will be affected, including 45 Winn-Dixie supermarkets, 26 Harveys stores, 22 BI-LO locations and one Fresco y Más. A list of closings is available here.
“The agreement we announced today is an important step in Southeastern Grocers’ transformation to put our company in the best position to succeed in the extremely competitive retail market in which we do business,” said Anthony Hucker, President and CEO at SEG in a statement. “With a foundation built on iconic, heritage banners, and with the strong support of our leadership team, we will work through this process as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are excited to emerge with the optimal store footprint and greater financial flexibility to invest in Southeastern Grocers’ growth.”
BI-LO also was preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing for this month. The February 2018 announcement coincided with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Tops Friendly Market, a New York-based grocery chain that blamed its financial struggles on challenging market conditions such as falling food prices and excess competition.