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    Winn-Dixie to Cut Jobs at Jacksonville HQ

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. will eliminate an unspecified number of positions from its headquarters here and from division offices, the Florida Times-Union reports.

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. will eliminate an unspecified number of positions from its headquarters here and from division offices, the Florida Times-Union reports.

    Workers were notified of the belt-tightening last Friday.

    "In response to a sluggish economy and slow sales, we found it necessary to reduce our headquarters and support function staff," Joanne Gage, the chain's chief advertising and marketing executive, said in a statement. "Deciding to eliminate positions was not a step we took lightly, but we are firmly committed to the profitability of this company."

    Winn-Dixie did not say how many positions would be eliminated but noted that any employees affected by the cuts will receive a severance package based on years of service, and outplacement assistance.

    Service in the grocery chain's stores would not be impacted, Gage said. Winn-Dixie did not file a notice with the state Reemployment and Emergency Assistance Coordination Team, which responds to plant closings and mass layoffs. Such a notice would be required if the cutback involved more than 500 employees or at least 33 percent of the employer's work force, according to the local paper.

    Winn-Dixie employed 12,253 associates in northeastern Florida as of March, including staff in corporate offices, stores, and distribution centers, according to the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. It employed a total of 99,000 workers throughout the Southeast at the end of June, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Winn-Dixie made no mention of the pending layoffs during its fourth-quarter conference call with stock analysts Aug. 8.

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