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    Winn-Dixie to Consolidate Distribution Operations in Southern Florida

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. has found another area to cut costs as it prepares to emerge from Chapter 11 later this year. The regional retailer said yesterday it has decided to consolidate its distribution operations in southern Florida.

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. has found another area to cut costs as it prepares to emerge from Chapter 11 later this year. The regional retailer said yesterday it has decided to consolidate its distribution operations in southern Florida.

    Winn-Dixie will sell its distribution center in Pompano Beach, Fla. and move the activity at that facility to its distribution center nearby in Miami. Associates at the Pompano Beach facility will be offered positions in Miami. The transfer of operations is expected to begin in late April and be completed by the end of June.

    "We have continued to examine our operations to ensure Winn-Dixie is best positioned to emerge from Chapter 11 financially healthier and better able to compete," said president and c.e.o. Peter Lynch in a statement. "Using one facility rather than two in southern Florida will allow us to leverage economies of scale and operate more efficiently. Proceeds received from the sale of the Pompano distribution center will provide us with additional capital to help fund our remodeling program and other improvements."

    Winn-Dixie, together with its outside advisors, will conduct an active marketing effort to identify potential buyers for the Pompano Beach facility, which is approximately 787,500 square feet and handles grocery, meat, dairy, and produce items. The Miami facility is approximately 961,690 square feet and handles the same items as well as frozen foods. There are currently approximately 280 full-time and part-time associates at the Pompano facility and 440 at the Miami facility.

    Winn-Dixie currently operates seven distribution centers in Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana.

    In other Winn-Dixie news, its latest monthly operating report shows the grocer brought in $600 million in sales for the period of Feb. 9 to March 8, an increase of 2.7 percent from the previous four-month period.

    The company posted a $4.3 million operating loss for the month.

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