The parent of Piggly Wiggly stores in South Carolina is in the process of selling itself to distributor C&S Wholesale Grocers while its stores will be sold to independent operators, company officials told SN Wednesday.
Greenbax Enterprises, the employee-owned operator doing business as Piggly Wiggly Carolina, began the process of unwinding its business a year ago when it sold 28 stores to Harris Teeter and Bi-Lo, citing competitive challenges and sales declines. It subsequently outsourced its distribution to C&S.
Company officials confirmed a report in the Post & Courier newspaper that C&S would acquire the operations, which include branding, marketing, store support, accounting and IT services, for $9.3 million, pending approval of Greenbax owners. They are expected to vote on the matter next week.
The company said it was working on separate deals to sell its 20 corporately owned stores to independent operators, but declined Wednesday to identify the buyers. Christy Boudolf, senior director of marketing and advertising for Greenbax, told SN that the company expected that all stores would be sold.
Another 30 Piggly Wiggly stores are independently operated and are expected to remain under their current ownership, Boudolf added. Total proceeds from the deals after expenses are estimated to be $6.1 million, officials confirmed.
“Greenbax and C&S Wholesale Grocers are financing the purchase of many Piggly Wiggly stores by entrepreneurs who will operate them as truly local businesses owned entirely by local citizens of South Carolina and Georgia,” David Schools, president and CEO of Greenbax, said in a statement. “Piggly Wiggly has gone back to its roots as a group of independently owned Piggly Wiggly stores joined by a common brand, collaborative marketing, and the flexibility of individual ownership. The Piggly Wiggly stores that are operating today in our trade area of South Carolina and Southeast Georgia will be operating tomorrow and beyond under different ownership but with the same great people and products that are there today.”
A C&S spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
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