Winn-Dixie to downsize, exit some 326 stores

July 1, 2005
Winn-Dixie Stores Inc announced a series of actions intended to enhance the Jacksonville FL-based supermarket chain's financial performance and position

Winn-Dixie Stores Inc announced a series of actions intended to enhance the Jacksonville FL-based supermarket chain's financial performance and position it for profitability in the long term. The plan consists of focusing on its strongest markets and reducing its store footprint in the United States and the Bahamas from 913 stores to about 587.

The company currently operates 901 stores in nine states and 12 in the Bahamas, all located in 37 Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Once the footprint plan is implemented, Winn-Dixie will operate about 587 stores in 23 DMAs in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, and the Bahamas.

Winn-Dixie is also making changes in its distribution and manufacturing plant operations. The company will exit three of its 10 distribution centers. These facilities are in Atlanta GA, Charlotte NC, and Greenville SC. The perishables portion of the Montgomery AL distribution center will remain open, and the company will expand the use of the Hammond LA dry grocery facility to accommodate dry grocery items now handled in the Montgomery facility.

In addition, Winn-Dixie is marketing for sale its manufacturing plants, including its six dairy and culture plants, its pizza plant in Montgomery, and its Chek Beverage/Deep South Products plant in Fitzgerald GA.

As a result, Winn-Dixie expects its workforce will be reduced by about 28%, or 22,000 positions. Where practicable, the company will seek to offer affected employees positions at other Winn-Dixie operations.

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