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    Big Y, Bi-Lo Continue to Grow

    Staying competitive means expanding or revamping stores, offering improved amenities.

    Big Y Foods Inc.’s plan to open a 55,000-square-foot World Class Market in Foxborough, Mass., on the site of the11-acre Foxfield Plaza shopping center is just the most recent evidence of the New England regional grocer’s ramped-up expansion strategy, which rolled out early this year with slated new locations in Lee, Franklin and Milford, Mass. Additionall, just this past month, Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y opened four stores it acquired from A&P in the Connecticut towns of West Hartford, Mystic, Old Lyme and Branford.

    The Foxborough store will employ between 150 and 175 people and, as a World Class Market, it will include such features as a wide range of prepared meals; many specialty foods, among them organic and gluten-free options; a full-service butcher shop; seafood delivered direct from New England piers; and a huge produce department offering more than 500 items, including organics and locally grown items.

    “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to bring our legendary World Class service and quality products to Foxborough, Mansfield and the surrounding communities,” said Big Y president and COO Charles L. D’Amour. “Our commitment to providing our customers with outstanding values with the best sales week after week and truly becoming a community partner with our educational partnerships is fundamental to our core values.” The company has maintained a presence in the eastern Massachusetts community since opening a store in Walpole in 2003.

    Expected to open in 2012, Big Y’s 66th store will represent an investment of between $15 million and $17 million in the area, as well as providing opportunities for local contractors during the building process.

    Meanwhile, this week Mauldin, S.C.-based Bi-Lo unveiled its newest renovated store in Spartanburg, S.C., the latest in a series of redesigns the company is undertaking throughout its four states in which it operates. To mark the occasion, the Southeast regional grocer presented 23 area organizations with more than $133,000 in funds raised as a result of this past year’s 27th annual Bi-Lo Charity Classic Golf Tournament, which took place last June.

    Special events at the reopened location on Reidville Road include free glucose and cholesterol testing by Cholestcheck; free samples, cooking demonstrations and culinary tips under “The Taste of Bi-Lo” program; and the opportunity for youngsters to get a free picture of themselves with Santa, courtesy of Pro Shots.

    The revamped Spartanburg store is part of Bi-Lo’s progressive five-year plan to become more competitive in the marketplace. Over the past several months, the company worked on improving its store designs and layout through such features as a warmer, richer color scheme, in addition to developing new offerings that emphasize quality and savings, including a larger assortment of upscale deli and bakery items; a butcher who can provide custom cuts and grilling and preparation tips, all at no cost; exclusive seafood selections; triple-inspected Walter’s Produce in a department with an open-market feel; a free Wi-Fi café; and the company’s first ever tropical fruits and nuts station, which also includes grains, rice, candies and snack mixes.

    “Bi-Lo is continuing to do great things to exceed our customers’ expectations by always providing tremendous savings without having to sacrifice on quality and service,” noted regional VP Sam Blaiss.“Our redesigned store in Spartanburg symbolizes what Bi-Lo is all about: quality, freshness and offering shoppers the finest products available, all for a low price.”

    As part of the grand re-opening celebration, representatives from 23 Spartanburg-area organizations were granted more than $120,000 in funds made possible by the 27th annual BI-LO Charity Classic Golf Tournament, which was held this past June in Greenville, S.C. BI-LO Charities made donations to groups throughout Spartanburg that address the needs of children, education or hunger relief in the community, including:

    Among the Spartanburg-area organizations that received donations from Bi-Lo on the occasion of the store’s reopening were Boys Farm, Inc.; Cherokee County Meals on Wheels; Christian Ministry of Lincoln County, Inc.; Laurens Memorial Home for Aged; Living Hope Foundation, Inc.; Southeastern Children’s Home; The Salvation Army of Gaffney, S.C.; and Woodruff Area Soup Kitchen

    Along with these grants, a randomly chosen group received an additional $500 donation from Bi-Lo Charities’ “boostersplus” program, which gives shoppers the opportunity to pick community organizations to receive part of the proceeds from customer purchases made throughout the year.
     

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