Bi-Lo LLC, the supermarket company that owns the Winn-Dixie chain, is preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing as soon as next month, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The retailer is planning to shut almost 200 stores as part of the move — either before or after the filing — said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public.
With low margins and ample competition, the grocery business has always been challenging. But now the industry is contending with a more aggressive push by big-box retailers and Amazon.com Inc., which acquired Whole Foods last year to give it a larger brick-and-mortar presence. The moves threaten to force older chains to either consolidate or revamp their operations.