Winn-Dixie Stores has found -- as Jefferson Davis did long ago -- that winning Dixie ain't easy. The Deep South supermarket chain operates about 480 combination food and drug stores throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi under the Winn-Dixie and Winn-Dixie Marketplace banners. Most of Winn-Dixie's supermarkets have pharmacies, about 75 house liquor stores, and several sell gas. 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, and took them private.
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 has filed to take the business public.
Privately-held Winn-Dixie Stores doesn't report sales. However, it rang up an estimated $7.1 billion in sales in fiscal 2012 (ends June), up from a reported $6.9 billion in 2011. In fiscal 2011 the grocery chain's overall sales and same-store sales were essentially flat compared to the previous year. Net income, however, plunged in 2011 and the company posted a loss of about $70 million. Combined Winn-Dixie Stores and sister company BI-LO are projected to have about $10 billion in annual sales.
Winn-Dixie is about to get much bigger. Its parent company has agreed to acquire the Sweetbay Supermarket chain in Florida from Delhaize America and convert the stores (more than 70 stores in all) to the Winn-Dixie banner. The pending 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.
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