German supermarket chain ALDI is continuing its expansion through the Southeast.
The company has bought long-time mainstays Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket. The purchase is part of a larger divestiture of Southeastern Grocers to various entities, according to a news release.
“Like ALDI, Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket have long histories and many loyal customers in the Southeast and we look forward to serving them in the years to come,” said ALDI CEO Jason Hart. “The time was right to build on our growth momentum and help residents in the Southeast save on their grocery bills.
“The transaction supports our long-term growth strategy across the United States, including plans to add 120 new stores nationwide this year to reach a total of more than 2,400 stores by year-end.”
ALDI first established its presence in the Southeast in the mid-1990s and since has invested $2.5 billion in the region. Most recently, ALDI deepened its roots, opening its 26th regional headquarters and distribution center in Loxley to help support new stores, with plans to open 20 ALDI locations in the area by the end of the year.
Despite many retailers shuttering stores due to economic conditions, ALDI is doubling-down on expansion plans, supporting its position as one of the fastest-growing grocers in the country. The Southeast-focused acquisition includes approximately 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket locations across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. There are about 40 Winn-Dixie stores in Alabama.
“ALDI will operate Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores with the same level of care and focus on quality and service, as we also evaluate which locations will convert to the ALDI format to better support the neighborhoods we’ll now have the privilege of serving,” said Hart. “For those stores we do not convert, our intention is that these continue to operate as Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores.”
Southeastern Grocers established its presence in the region nearly a century ago. From the beginning, its commitments to the customer, caring associates and quality products have made a profound impact in the Southeast.
“This merger agreement is a testament to our successful transformational journey and the tireless work of our dedicated associates who serve our communities,” said Anthony Hucker, President and CEO, Southeastern Grocers. “ALDI shares our vision to provide exceptional quality, service and value – and this unique opportunity will evolve our business to benefit our customers, associates and neighbors throughout the Southeast.”