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 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 non-core manufacturing operations. Polar is continuing to supply Winn-Dixie stores with Chek brand soft drinks, made by Deep South.