Aldi expansion has reached historical heights, as the company announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement the acquire Southeastern Grocers’ Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores — a total of 400 locations across five states. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
“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,” said Aldi CEO Jason Hart. “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.”
Aldi has been one of the fastest-growing grocers in the U.S. and had already announced an aggressive expansion plan in 2023 that included 120 new stores by the end of the year. The Southeastern Grocer acquisition marks the Batavia, Ill.-based retailer as a major player whether you are talking about discount grocery or the traditional kind, and comes when Kroger and Albertsons are working through their $24.6 billion merger currently under review by the Federal Trade Commission.
Aldi now plans on having 2,400 stores by the end of the year, and the newly acquired Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarkets locations expands Aldi’s footprint in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Almost 300 stores are in Florida, which is where Publix has a heavy presence.
Aldi has invested $2.5 billion in stores in the Southeast since it first set foot in the territory in the mid-1990s
“Aldi shares our vision to provide…quality, service, and value — and this unique opportunity will evolve our business to benefit our customers, associates, and neighbors throughout the Southeast,” said Southeastern Grocers President and CEO Anthony Hucker. “This merger agreement is a testament to our successful transformational journey.”
Just a few years ago, in 2018, Southeastern Grocers, which is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., and also owns Fresco y Mas stores, was just trying to stay relevant as it exited out of bankruptcy. The chain, however, has been thriving lately. In the fourth quarter of 2022 the company reported sales growth of 10% to $2.05 billion, and 80% of Winn-Dixie stores have been upgraded.
In early July, Southeast Grocers announced a new private label brand called Know & Love.
Aldi has not indicated how many of the new stores will carry the Aldi banner, but Hart said stores that are not converted will continue to run under the names of Winn-Dixie and Harvey's Supermarket.
“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.
This story is still developing and Supermarket News has reached out to Aldi and Southeast Grocers for further comment.
On Wednesday Aldi announced the acquisition of Winn-Dixie and Harvey's Supermarket stores. The discount grocer is on pace to have 2,400 stores by the end of 2023. Are we going to see more consolidation like this in the industry, especially with the Kroger, Albertsons merger looming?
Let us know in the comments below, or email your thoughts to the SN Staff at [email protected].