Press Release

Alex Lee Finalizes Acquisition of W. Lee Flowers & Co.

HICKORY, N.C., Oct. 28, 2019 – Alex Lee, Inc. announced today that it has completed its acquisition of W. Lee Flowers & Co., a wholesale and retail grocery company based in Scranton, S.C. The acquisition of W. Lee Flowers, which distributes to more than 75 grocery stores in the Carolinas and Georgia including 50 stores that it owns and operates, enables Alex Lee to expand its geographic footprint, enhance operations in new markets and offer consumers a greater variety of products at competitive costs.

W. Lee Flowers will operate as a subsidiary of Alex Lee and will maintain its present facility in Scranton. All employees of W. Lee Flowers are being retained and Rick Geary has taken over leadership responsibilities following the announced retirements of the company’s longtime executives, William Henry Johnson Jr. and Heyward L. King Jr. 

“We are grateful and excited as we complete the acquisition of W. Lee Flowers & Co. and welcome its employees to the Alex Lee family,” said Brian George, president & CEO, Alex Lee, Inc. “In the weeks since we announced our agreement to acquire the company, the enthusiastic feedback we have received from customers, partners and employees across all of our businesses has been extrodinarily gratifying. W. Lee Flowers and Alex Lee share similar values, prioritize customer-first cultures, and have earned the respect and admiration of their community partners. This is a great fit and we’re thrilled to move forward together.”  

About W. Lee Flowers & Co.
Founded in 1922 in Lake City, South Carolina, W. Lee Flowers & Co. is one of the largest grocery distributors in the region. The company maintains a full-line warehouse facility of more than 400,000 square feet, housing all major departments, including: grocery, meat, dairy, produce, ice cream and GM/HBC. W. Lee Flowers owns and operates 50 IGA and KJ’s Market grocery stores in North and South Carolina and Georgia. The Food Partners represented W. Lee Flowers in its evaluation of strategic alternatives including as its financial advisor in the transaction with Alex Lee, Inc.

About Alex Lee, Inc.
Founded in 1931, Alex Lee is a family-owned and operated company that employs approximately 10,000 people. It serves as the parent company of Merchants Distributors, LLC, which provides full-service, wholesale distribution to supermarkets and Souto Foods, a distributor of authentic Hispanic foods. In addition, Alex Lee is the parent company of Lowes Foods, which includes nearly 85 full-service grocery stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as Just Save food stores in North Carolina. Alex Lee, Inc. is based in Hickory, North Carolina.

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