Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets Inc. and Jacksonville, Fla.-based Bi-Lo Holdings LLC have entered into an agreement under which Publix will purchase seven BI-LO-branded stores. The seven stores are located in North Carolina and South Carolina, and the transaction is expected to close in October. The acquisition is part of Publix’s plans for aggressive growth in the North Carolina market. Currently Publix has 1,073 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. Bi-Lo Holdings LLC, the parent company of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, operates 686 grocery stores and 482 in-store pharmacies throughout the southeastern United States.