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Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.’s new Covington, La., store, which bows today, is special for several reasons: Not only is the 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art supermarket the Jacksonville, Fla.-based grocer’s first newly constructed location since 2004, but it’s also the first grocery store in the Pelican State to receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill certification for energy-efficient refrigeration systems. There are currently just 26 U.S. supermarkets that have received such certification.
“Not only does it provide a best-in-class shopping experience, but it brings 200 new jobs to the area as well,” said Winn-Dixie Chairman, CEO and President Peter Lynch of the location, which features a 24-foot-tall open entranceway stretching over an outdoor farmers’ market selling local produce.
“People want to do business with stores that share their environmental values,” added Keilly Witman, manager of EPA’s GreenChill Partnership. “By having the first GreenChill-certified store in Louisiana, Winn-Dixie has demonstrated to its customers and communities that it is serious about helping to save our Earth’s ozone layer and fighting climate change.”
The store additionally incorporates the grocer’s latest design elements, including 21,000 square feet of polished wood flooring, 34,000 square feet of stained concrete flooring, and an exposed-beam ceiling. At the entrance, a sleek glass-front exterior soars above a covered walkway.
Other store features include a large, well-stocked wine department and wine steward; a custom sandwich and sub shop, a wood-burning rotisserie, a wing bar and hot foods station, a barbecue station, a panini grill, a yogurt bar, a peanut butter machine, Naturewell Natural Beef and Prairie Grove Farms natural pork selections in the meat department, a carving station, a full pharmacy with a wellness center, a seasonal merchandise and gift section, and ready-to-cook meal solutions
Each day during the grand-opening week, customers will be welcomed with a slice of king cake (a Louisiana specialty), and the first 250 customers will receive a free grocery item. Among the planned activities for a month of grand-opening celebrations are live entertainment from a jazz band, a crawfish boil, local-flavor food sampling, and a Mardi Gras-themed Family Fun Day. A drawing will also be held for a Coca-Cola-sponsored Mardi Gras package including hotel accommodations in New Orleans and passes to ride on a parade float.
Winn-Dixie operates 515 retail grocery locations, including over 400 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.