Grocery retailer Bi-Lo LLC signed a long-term deal with C&S Wholesale Grocers to take over the warehouse, distribution and purchasing operations of Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.
The move is a continuation of cost-cutting measures by Bi-Lo LLC, Jacksonville, Fla., which bought Winn-Dixie for $560 million last year and consolidated both companies’ headquarters in Jacksonville.
C&S has provided procurement, warehouse and transportation services for Bi-Lo since 2005, according to a news release from Bi-Lo. The new agreement means the Keene, N.H.-based wholesaler will serve 206 Bi-Lo stores and 480 Winn-Dixie stores.
By the end of the year, Winn-Dixie’s six distribution centers — Baldwin, Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando in Florida; Montgomery, Ala.; and Hammond, La. — will be transitioned, according to the release. C&S intends to operate the facilities as they are today, with minimal staff changes.
As each distribution center is transitioned over to C&S, associates of the distribution centers will become employees of C&S, Bi-Lo president Randall Onstead said in the news release.
C&S is the 10th-largest private company in the U.S., according to Forbes magazine. It estimated the company’s 2011 revenue at $20 billion.
According to the C&S website, it serves about 4,000 stores from more than 50 locations in 12 states. Its retail customers include Stop & Shop, Giant of Carlisle, Giant of Landover, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Kroger, Safeway, Target and Whole Foods.