The German supermarket chain Aldi is acquiring hundreds of Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores in the southeastern United States, the company announced on Wednesday.
Aldi said the deal included about 400 grocery stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Some of the locations will be converted into Aldi stores, while the others will remain operating under their current brands.
Aldi, a discount retailer, opened its first stores in the United States in 1976. It has accelerated its expansion in the past two decades and now has more than 2,000 stores nationwide.
The chief executive of Aldi USA, Jason Hart, said in a statement that the company hoped to keep growing in the United States and that it aimed to add 120 new stores in the country this year.
Aldi is known for its discounted prices, its private label goods and the sparse design of its stores, which are smaller than most supermarkets.
“Like Aldi, Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket have long histories and many loyal customers in the Southeast and we look forward to serving them in the years to come,” Mr. Hart said.
If the deal is approved by regulators, it is expected to be completed in the first half of 2024. Aldi did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition.
Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket are owned by Southeastern Grocers, which has experienced tumult in recent years.
Southeastern Grocers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018 and closed 94 stores. In 2021, the company proposed, then withdrew, an initial public offering.
Southeastern Grocers said in a statement that it was selling the grocery store chains to Aldi as part of a broader divestment strategy.
In a separate deal, Southeastern Grocers is selling its 28 Fresco y Más grocery stores and four Fresco y Más pharmacies to an investment group, the statement said. The Fresco y Más stores will not change operations.
The Aldi deal coincides with a proposed merger by the two largest grocery store chains in the country, Kroger and Albertsons.
The companies proposed the merger in October 2022, but it has been criticized by consumer advocates, independent grocery chains and politicians who said it would limit shoppers’ choices of where to buy groceries.
On Wednesday, seven secretaries of state said that they opposed the merger because it would give the companies too much control of the retail food market. In a letter to Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, the officials urged her “to stop this corporate consolidation that is draining Americans of their hard-earned wages and livelihoods.”
The letter was signed by the secretaries of state in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont.