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nwgeorgia

More Chattanooga Grocery Drama?

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Recently, BI-LO's holding company announced that it intended to sell off the BI-LO chain. In Chattanooga, the presence of BI-LO has definitely dimmed in the last few years as BI-LO has bounced from holding company to holding company. The Lookout Valley store closed a little more than a year after the opening of a Super Wal-Mart. Other stores are poorly-stocked and tired-looking. Also, BI-LO is now closing its 3 warehouses in CHA, eliminating any distribution presence in the market. Company officials contend that CHA is a "core market", but you have to wonder if that is just wishful thinking. Even if BI-LO redoubles its efforts in CHA, shoppers may be ready to move on to other stores when available.

What will happen?

Is the market finally correcting to the current conditions with Wal-Mart becoming the leading discount choice while a Publix moves in to take the upper end?

Will BI-LO just shutter old stores and sell off prime sites to Publix or another chain?

What will happen to BI-LO's planned new stores on raw sites in Hixson and in E. Brainerd at Ooltewah-Ringgold Road?

Will BI-LO eliminate the market overlap in Ft. Oglethorpe (2 stores within 2 miles of each other and 3 miles from W mart?

Personally, I'm ready for a change. The closest Kroger is 25 mi away in Dalton and the closest Publix is 70 mi away in Cartersville (or Huntsville, AL). I don't shop Wal-Mart so I'm ready for a new choice in this market.

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Recently, BI-LO's holding company announced that it intended to sell off the BI-LO chain. In Chattanooga, the presence of BI-LO has definitely dimmed in the last few years as BI-LO has bounced from holding company to holding company. The Lookout Valley store closed a little more than a year after the opening of a Super Wal-Mart. Other stores are poorly-stocked and tired-looking. Also, BI-LO is now closing its 3 warehouses in CHA, eliminating any distribution presence in the market. Company officials contend that CHA is a "core market", but you have to wonder if that is just wishful thinking. Even if BI-LO redoubles its efforts in CHA, shoppers may be ready to move on to other stores when available.

What will happen?

Is the market finally correcting to the current conditions with Wal-Mart becoming the leading discount choice while a Publix moves in to take the upper end?

Will BI-LO just shutter old stores and sell off prime sites to Publix or another chain?

What will happen to BI-LO's planned new stores on raw sites in Hixson and in E. Brainerd at Ooltewah-Ringgold Road?

Will BI-LO eliminate the market overlap in Ft. Oglethorpe (2 stores within 2 miles of each other and 3 miles from W mart?

Personally, I'm ready for a change. The closest Kroger is 25 mi away in Dalton and the closest Publix is 70 mi away in Cartersville (or Huntsville, AL). I don't shop Wal-Mart so I'm ready for a new choice in this market.

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Are they still planning to put Publix on East Brainerd Road?

If you're wanting to change, interested in saving some serious money, and willing to try something radically different, I would suggest you try Aldi. They have a new store on Battlefield Parkway. I do most of my shopping at the Aldi at the intersection of Brainerd and East Brainerd and I'm saving a bunch of money.

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I remember Bi-Lo being quite the nice store when I was in University (Cookeville). As a matter of fact they built a new store in town while I was living there. I have been to some outdated stores in the Chattanooga area that left me less-than-impressed. Hope Publix works out for you guys - what's the chances of Harris-Teeter coming to Chattanooga? Ingles? Food City?

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I know that there are 2 planned Publix stores right now. Does anyone know if there will be a 3rd???

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I believe Publix will have 3 stores, East Brainerd in the former Winn-Dixie, Hixson-a new construction, but the rezoning is being challenged, andOolteway/Collegdale, likely to be a new build rather than the former Winn-Dixie there.

Publix will bring much need competition to the Chattanooga area and shows that Chattanooga is one the radar of one the fastest growing traditional supermarket chains, one that has an upscale slant at that. Publix has stores in the Atlanta region, Huntsville region and Nashville region, so Chattanooga is an obvious gap needing to be filled. I'm hoping that Chattanooga gaining Publix means that Dalton, Cleveland and Rome are also in the running for future expansion.

Publix is a service-oriented grocer with slightly higher prices than most of the competition, but not unrealistically higher. The prices won't be in the Whole Foods range and most sale prices will be competitive with BiLo if not cheaper. Publix does a great job in Deli-Baker in particular and fresh foods in general.

Publix is a big enough threat that Kroger expended lots of capitol in the Atlanta are to remodel and build new stores when Publix arrived and is doing the same in Nashville. Since BiLo is for sale, they won't be as aggressive in countering Publix until they are sold, only projects already planned such as the Super BiLo at East Brainerd and Ringgold-Ooltewah Roads will be constructed.

Any word on who is likely to be a buyer for BiLo, its relatively large at almost 200 or so stores, so a large chain such as Kroger or Safeway or another investment firm would be able to buy it outright. If LoneStar is willing to sale piecemeal, I would say Food City, Ingle's, Lowe's Foods, Publix, and Kroger would take particular locations and groups of stores.

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Up here in our area (northeast Tennessee / southwest Virginia, Food City bought out the Bi-Lo's and I think changed the name to "Super Dollars"... or "Super Dollar". Personally, I have never saw a Bi-Lo before. :unsure:

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... Publix does a great job in Deli-Baker in particular and fresh foods in general. ... Since BiLo is for sale, they won't be as aggressive in countering Publix until they are sold, only projects already planned such as the Super BiLo at East Brainerd and Ringgold-Ooltewah Roads will be constructed.

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I know that there are 2 planned Publix stores right now. Does anyone know if there will be a 3rd???

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Any word on who is likely to be a buyer for BiLo, its relatively large at almost 200 or so stores, so a large chain such as Kroger or Safeway or another investment firm would be able to buy it outright. If LoneStar is willing to sale piecemeal, I would say Food City, Ingle's, Lowe's Foods, Publix, and Kroger would take particular locations and groups of stores.

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I have heard of the new BiLo on Ooltewah-Ringgold, but not a new one in East Brainerd. So where will that one go? I assume it will replace its decrepit (but very busy) location at Jenkins and East Brainerd. Has that one been announced yet?

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With C & S ceasing their Chattanooga logistics operations, one wonders if they could be pulling out of their Greenville facility if Bi-Lo's buyer, another supermarket, has interest in taking over the logistics there. Kroger and Publix have logistics centers in the Atlanta area.

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BiLo has never been able to recapture the hometown spirit Red Food had, so its local decline is not so surprising, but they did make a serious effort to update the stores when they first converted from Red Food. I think the old time Red Food customer may feel a stronger affinity for Publix than BiLo once the first Publix opens. In its day, Red Food was very service oriented. If a customer was unable to carry their bags themselves, a courtesy clerk was expected to assist, not just bag and clear carts off the lot. The had a 3's a Crowd policy, which some locations did better at adhering to than others, the busiest Reds did seem understaffed at peak business hours. A lot of local brands were offered, that BiLo doesn't have, Double Cola and Reid House salads come to mind, as well as Kay's Ice Cream(no longer available, absorbed into Mayfield).

I've heard many older Chattanoogans say Mr. Parham would be spinning in his grave at what has become of Red Food/BiLo.

I still wonder what Red Food would be like today if Ahold had never taken over. I guess H.G. Hills in Nashville would be the closest example, considered they once had common ownership and shared store design, merchandising, and even the "flower pot" sign that pre-dated the circle Red Food.

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Interesting, DaltonGA... especially your point about H.G. Hill and Red Foods sharing the store designs. Reason I find this interesting is that once I was driving out on Lee Hiway to Airport Rd. and saw a building on the right side of Lee that looked astonishingly like the old H.G. Hill that stood at the corner of 21st/Blakemore next to Vandy. So I just assumed that it was an old H.G. Hill store (I wasn't familiar with either store before I lived in Nashville). Do you know the old building I'm referring to?

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Up here in our area (northeast Tennessee / southwest Virginia, Food City bought out the Bi-Lo's and I think changed the name to "Super Dollars"... or "Super Dollar". Personally, I have never saw a Bi-Lo before. :unsure:

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The Bi-Lo's in Knoxville market were rebranded as Food City's. One in Knoxville and one in Maryville were closed outright and did not get rebranded, while the one in Oak Ridge closed for several months while it was completely remodeled. Considering how dirty and unkept the Bi-Lo's were, the Food City buy-out in Knoxville was a big plus for those stores.

The "Super Dollar" brand is a discount store (think Save-A-Lot) that Food City is opening up in smaller locations, so far in Virginia.

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Very interesting. I wonder if this rebranding could happen in Chattanooga? How are the Food City stores doing in the Knoxville market?

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The last I heard, they were #1 in the Knoxville market, beating out Kroger, Wal-Mart, Ingles, and Food Lion in that order.

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Does anyone in the East Brainerd area know if the Publix is close to opening? What a great addition to Chattanooga!

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Just visited my cousin over there in Windstone. Since I personally know the president of the company that will convert the old WinnDixie to the Publix, I checked it out as I drove past there last week. No sign of construction yet, and I haven't heard of an opening target date. I'll try to track down my friend who has been working hard with the one in Hixson. I don't think his company is doing the one in Ooltewah. I did see that the land for the big, new BiLo is being cleared (at the corner of Oolt-Ringgold and E.Brainerd).

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What was the Knoxville market like in 1997 when Bi-Lo and Winn Dixie were there?

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BiLo has filed fir bankruptcy, citing inability to refiance loans becaused of the credit markets.

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Delhaize, the parent company of Food Lion, is making an offer on BiLo. Their intention is to make BiLo an operating unit of Food Lion, but didn't say whether or not the name will be retained or change. Food Lion operates Bloom as an upscale banner and Bottom Dollar as a limited assortment banner with local banners Reid's in South Carolina, and Harvey's mainly in South Georgia as other banners. BiLo and Food Lion have a lot of geographic overlap in Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas beyond Chattanooga as well and both the Food Lion banner and BiLo banner traditionally targeted the same customer while BiLo moved upscale earlier than Food Lion with merchandise mix and store design.

The large amount of overlap doesn't bode well in the Chattanooga area. The East Brainerd BiLo was one of the chains highest volume stores prior to Publix opening, and is still a busier and more upscale store than the Stratham Crossing Food Lion nearby. Would the two continue to operate or would one close. Would the Super BiLo become a Bloom or the lower volume Food Lion's change to Bottom Dollar? Similar scenarios play out in the Brainerd area and in East Ridge on Ringgold Road, HIxson Pike, and Rossville and Fort Oglethope as well.

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