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- 2013 - December - 17th -

Delhaize to lay off 116 in Green Cove Springs

From Staff

Delhaize America LLC notified the state Monday that 116 management employees would be laid off Feb. 9 in Green Cove Springs.

The Harveys Distribution Center operates at the listed address, 4627 J.P. Hall Blvd.

Harveys did not respond to a call for comment. Delhaize America described the affected jobs in the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the state as "management of companies and enterprises."

Harveys is one of the companies owned by Delhaize America, a subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group, and is being sold to Jacksonville-based Bi-Lo Holdings LLC.

Harveys has operated 72 stores in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Its website shows seven supermarkets in Florida, including one in Green Cove Springs.

Bi-Lo Holdings, which owns the Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo supermarket chains, agreed in May to buy the 72 Harveys supermarkets along with 72 Sweetbay stores in Florida and 11 Reid's stores in South Carolina from Delhaize.

Bi-Lo holdings will convert the 72 Sweetbay supermarkets into Winn-Dixie stores and the Reid's stores to the Bi-Lo banner.

The majority of the Harveys stores will retain that name, but some may be converted to Winn-Dixie or Bi-Lo after the acquisition is complete, which is expected in the first quarter of 2014.

Bi-Lo said in a news release that it intends to retain all store-level employees after the deal is completed. The 155 Delhaize stores have about 10,000 employees.

Delhaize had operated more than 1,500 stores in 16 states along the East Coast, including Bottom Dollar Food, Food Lion, Harveys, Hannaford Supermarkets, Reid's and Sweetbay Supermarket.

The Green Cove Springs warehouse was built to serve the Food Lion brand, which pulled out of Florida last year.

Delhaize said in January 2012 then that it was discontinuing the Food Lion brand in Florida and closing 113 stores, including 20 in the Jacksonville metropolitan area.

Delhaize continued to operate Sweetbay and Harveys, but announced in January that it would close 33 underperforming Sweetbay stores, leaving it with the 72 being sold to Bi-Lo.

The WARN notice job cuts were not the first layoff at the center.

Food Lion said in April 2001 that it would close the Green Cove Springs distribution, eliminating 230 jobs at the 832,000-square-foot facility, which it opened in 1988. It most recently operated as a Harveys center.

Loopnet.com shows that as of 21 days ago, 388,000 square feet at the warehouse was available for lease.

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