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    Publix Buying 2 Former N.C. Lowes Foods Stores

    Acquisition reflects Florida-based grocer’s growth in Tar Heel State

    In a transaction slated to close later this month, Publix Super Markets Inc. will purchase two closed and vacant North Carolina stores from Lowes Foods LLC. The stores are located in Gastonia and Cary. Financial terms of the deal, which also included a fuel station that Publix doesn't intend to operate, weren't disclosed.

    "We’ve opened eight stores in North Carolina within the past year, solidifying our commitment to growth within the state," said Ed Crenshaw, CEO of Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix. "Our service-oriented culture is continuing to foster a loyal customer following in North Carolina and across all our market areas.”

    "The sale of these closed and vacant store locations is part of our comprehensive growth strategy that includes accelerating investment in rebranding existing stores, building new stores and evaluating strategic marketplace opportunities," added Tim Lowe, president of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Lowes Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alex Lee, Inc. that employs nearly 9,000 people and operates about 95 supermarkets in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    Grand-reopening dates for the two locations under the Publix banner will depend on the scope of the store remodels, according to the companies

    Privately owned and operated by its 175,000 employees, Publix has 1,098 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.

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