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    New Winn-Dixie Store Concept Emphasizes Freshness

    CEO McLeod also cites specialty items, affordability as draws

    Southeastern Grocers President and CEO Ian McLeod at Winn-Dixie Baymeadows

    Kicking off what the banner calls “an extensive store remodel program for 2016,” the brand-new Winn-Dixie Baymeadows, located in the grocer’s hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., places freshness squarely in its sights.

    “This store provides us with an opportunity to redefine what Winn-Dixie can provide for its customers in a contemporary, friendly and exciting in-store environment focused on stunning, quality fresh food; specialty stores-within-stores; and very competitive prices,” said Ian McLeod, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie.

    On the subject of prices, McLeod noted: “We believe in eating well for less. This means that while we are offering quality food, customers will not be paying more for their basket. Since October last year, we have invested over $70 million into lowering our prices. We now have over 3,000 new lower prices and over 600 products on Down Down – prices that are down and staying down.”

    In keeping with its fixation on freshness, the store’s produce department sources from more than 50 Florida farms such delicacies as prickly pears, lychees and dragon fruit, as well 100-plus organic items. It additionally offers 4,000 natural and organic products – more than half of them new to the store – and debuts a health food store-within-a-store, Naturally Better.

    Meanwhile, the Kitchen encompasses an in-house stone-hearth pizza oven and smokehouse producing such crowd pleasers as slow-cooked brisket and pulled pork and scratch-made pizza sauce and marinades, and the Café features a trained barista and roasted-on-site coffee beans, as well giving customers the option of enjoying their java at a seating area or placing it in the convenient cup holder attached to each shopping cart so they can sip while they shop.

    Other store features include a deli with 350-plus local and international artisanal cheeses, including grass-fed varieties and a trained cheese steward; a butcher offering natural, organic, dry-aged and grass-fed meats; a bakery department with made-in-store baked goods and gluten-free bread selections; a full-service seafood section; and a new beer, wine and spirits shop located just next door and providing a variety of local Florida-based craft spirits.

    The Baymeadows location is just the beginning, however. “We are planning around 50 store remodels this year and believe this store represents a step change from where we have been, as well as a clear indicator on how we intend to satisfy our customers’ needs in the future,” observed McLeod.

    At the store’s Feb. 4 official re-opening, celebrity chef Curtis Stone hosted a book signing for customers, autographing copies of his best-selling cookbook, “Good Food, Good Life.” The first 100 attendees at the signing received a free copy of the cookbook. Customers could also sample foods from local vendors.

    Winn-Dixie employs more than 48,000 associates at 518 grocery stores, 145 liquor stores and 393 in-store pharmacies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

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