BI-LO the one-time Ahold owned grocer based in my hometown of Mauldin, South Carolina featured its Clear Value brand on the back page of its weekly circular this week. For those of you unfamiliar with BI-LO the grocery chain operates more than 200 stores in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
According to Wikipedia:
BI-LO was founded in 1961 by Frank L. Outlaw. The original name was Wrenn & Outlaw. The company was officially named BI-LO in 1963 after Outlaw conducted an employee store-naming contest to develop the \”brand.\” His secretary, Edna Plumblee, won the contest by submitting the name \”BI-LO.\” BI-LO was sold to Ahold (a Dutch retail food conglomerate) in 1977. In 1994, Ahold purchased Red Food Stores, Inc. and merged its locations (around 55 of them) in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee into BI-LO the following year. In 2001, Ahold purchased the Birmingham, Alabama based Bruno\’s Supermarkets chain and combined its operations with BI-LO.
In 2005, Ahold sold BI-LO/Bruno\’s to Lone Star Funds. In order to concentrate on renovating older stores, building new ones, and investing in newer information technology, the new owners sold off 104 BI-LO and Bruno\’s stores in areas where the chain did not have significant market penetration as well as the three BI-LO/Bruno\’s distribution centers to grocery wholesaler, C&S Wholesale Grocers who converted some of the stores to Southern Family Markets.
Clear Value is the BI-LO value tier Private Brand. It clearly shows the Ahold (Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Stop & Shop, Pea Pod and Martins) past looking and feeling remarkable similar to the current Ahold value tier brand: Guaranteed Value. Both of these brands also fall into the family of broader value tier Private Brands including: Kroger Value, Tesco Value, Smart Option (Delhaize) and No Name Brand (Loblaw). These brands are finding increasing relevance and growing sales in the current economic conditions.