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Piggly Wiggly slimming down

Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. Inc. will be selling 29 of its stores.

Bi-Lo Holdings LLC, parent company of the BI-LO and Winn-Dixie grocery store chains, has entered into a definitive agreement with Piggly Wiggly to acquire 22 of its stores, with approximately 1,200 store employees in South Carolina and coastal Georgia. An additional seven stores will be purchased by Harris Teeter.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"We look forward to welcoming these new associates to the Bi-Lo Holdings family and to building on the strength of these stores," Randall Onstead, president and chief executive officer of Bi-Lo Holdings, said in a press release. "We will continue to fine-tune our company and network of stores so that we can reinvest in what matters most for our customers... the freshest foods, the best deals and really connecting to their neighborhoods."

"The departure of employees and stores from the Piggly Wiggly team will be acutely felt, but we know that Bi-Lo Holdings will benefit from these outstanding folks," David Schools, president and CEO of Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., said in the release.  "We are glad that employees will have the opportunity to work for Bi-Lo Holdings, and guests will continue to be served by the familiar people who have been the backbone of these stores for years."

Both transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.  Upon completion of the transaction, the acquired stores will be rebranded under the "BI-LO" banner name.