Winn-Dixie Stores has found -- as Jefferson Davis did long ago -- that winning Dixie ain't easy. The Deep South supermarket chain operates about 550 combination food and drug stores throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi under the Winn-Dixie and Winn-Dixie Marketplace banners. More than 400 Winn-Dixie supermarkets have pharmacies. The company's brands include Thrifty Maid, Winn & Lovett, and Winn-Dixie. Founded in 1925, Winn-Dixie Stores is a subsidiary of BI-LO Holding, which merged Winn-Dixie and South Carolina-based BI-LO in 2012. BI-LO then acquired Winn-Dixie's rival in Florida, Sweetbay Supermarkets, in 2014 and converted the 70-plus stores to the Winn-Dixie banner.
Change in Company Type
Winn-Dixie merged with BI-LO in March 2012, and the two were taken private by BI-LO Holding in a deal valued at $560 million. Both companies continue to operate under their own banners. Combined the two rank as the ninth-largest supermarket chain in the US with nearly 690 grocery stores in eight states throughout the Southeast. BI-LO's owner, private equity firm Lone Star Funds, controls the combined companies and after filing to take the business public in 2013, withdrew the offering in 2014.
Winn-Dixie's privately held parent company BI-LO Holdings doesn't break out Winn-Dixie's sales results. However, BI-LO Holings rang up an estimated $10.3 billion in sales in 2013.
BI-LO's June 2014 acquisition of the Sweetbay, Harveys, and Reid's supermarket chains from Delhaize (later Ahold Delhaize) in $246 million added to its holdings in the Southeast. Some 70 Sweetbay stores in Florida were converted to the Winn-Dixie banner, boosting Winn-Dixie's store count from approximately 480 stores to 550 locations. Select Harveys locations in Georgia were also converted to Winn-Dixies. The addition to its store count reverses years of retrenchment at Winn-Dixie, which included store closures and asset sales. In 2011 Winn-Dixie sold its Deep South beverage manufacturing plant in Georgia to Polar Beverages. The sale marked the completion of its program to divest all noncore manufacturing operations. Polar is continuing to supply Winn-Dixie stores with Chek brand soft drinks, made by Deep South.