US retailer Publix plans to purchase seven stores from local peer Bi-Lo Holdings for an undisclosed sum.

The stores are located in North and South Carolina, the companies said. The deal is expected to close next month.

Florida-based Publix has been growing its business in the Carolinas and launched its new Charlotte division in July.

Commenting on the acquisition, Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw said the deal would advance its position in the region. “Publix has a strong financial foundation that allows us to aggressively grow throughout existing markets and our new Charlotte Division,” Crenshaw said.

For its part, Bi-Lo Holdings – the operator of the Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie supermarket chains – said the sale comes as part of its drive to rationalise its recently expanded store portfolio. Last week, Bi-Lo struck a deal to buy 22 stores, including 16 in South Carolina, from Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. In May, it moved to snap up 165 outlets from Belgium-based retailer Delhaize Group.

Bi-Lo president and CEO Randall Onstead said: “We have and will continue to fine-tune our company and network of stores so that we can reinvest in what matters most for our customers.”