Sweet Bay Sold To Bi-Lo

Winn-Dixie supermarket chain owner Bi-Lo Holdings on Tuesday announced plans to buy Sweetbay supermarkets and two other grocers for $265 million in cash.

As part of the deal, Brussels-based Delhaize Group will sell 72 Sweetbay locations and 10 additional stores that were closed earlier this year.

Despite a multimillion renovation nearly a decade ago that added elements and introduced a fresh look to its stores, Tampa-based Sweetbay has struggled in recent years to compete with Publix Super Market Inc. and Whole Foods Market.

Analysts said the move by Jacksonville-based Bi-Lo could have repercussions throughout the Southwest Florida market.

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