Augusta Business Daily

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Discount tool and hardware store agrees to store #3 in the CSRA

The former Bi-Lo grocery store at 4460 Columbia Road will be sub-divided into several spaces with Harbor Freight committing to be the first retailer. JH Cleveland Construction cleared out the inside of the store to make way for new opportunities. (photo by Neil Gordon)

If remodelers of the closed Bi-Lo in Columbia County need some tools or accessories for a new build-out—they can turn no further than the first official tenant—Harbor Freight, which will expand from its current stores at 3435 Wrightsboro Road in Augusta and 2270 Whiskey Road in Aiken.

A store manager at the Augusta store confirmed a rumor buzzing through the community.

All of the exterior signage of Bi-Lo’s brand including food department signage is gone—as are any shelving, racks, and equipment. JH Cleveland Construction on Ponder Road in Evans was hired to clear out the former grocery store. All that is left are beams and concrete in the building.

James Waller of Evans is a local handyman, who shops at Harbor Freight on Wrightsboro Road for paint supplies along with tools and hardware. He’s glad the discounter will be closer to his home. (photo by Neil Gordon)

James Waller of Evans was busy on Thursday afternoon finishing up a paint job at a West Augusta building—and in the past has bought paint supplies, tools, and other hardware items at Harbor Freight. Normally, he’s traveled near the Mall to the Augusta store. “I love that place. Everything is much cheaper than competitors and we don’t have to go across town”, said Waller.  “It’s good for Columbia County,” he added.

Harbor Freight is known for being the deep-discount, low-cost leader on hardware, power tools, equipment, welding supplies, and more. (photo courtesy Harbor Freight website)

ABD’s learned that Harbor Freight will not need the entire Bi-Lo building and commercial realtors will work on a mixed-use concept in which they hope to find like-minded retail shops. Parking is plentiful and some traffic already comes from the CVS store within the center. The Wrightsboro Store is 16,000 square feet and most Bi-Lo’s average more than 40,000 square feet.

In the past few years, area Food Lion’s have taken over closed Bi-Lo’s. In this case, it was not practical as Food Lion owns a long-time grocery store nearby on South Belair Road.

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