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Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.
Industry Supermarket/Retail
Founded 1925
Headquarters Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Key people
Ian Mcleod (President and CEO)
Products Grocery, Bakery, Dairy, Deli, Floral, Frozen Food, General Merchandise, Meat, Pharmacy, Produce, Seafood, Liquor
Revenue $10 billion (2014)[1]
Number of employees
Parent Southeastern Grocers

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. is an American supermarket chain based in Jacksonville, Florida.[2] Winn-Dixie has ranked number 24 in the 2010 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on FY2009 estimated sales of $7.3 billion by Supermarket News.[3] and was ranked the 45th largest retailer in the United States based on 2012 revenues by Stores magazine.[4] Winn-Dixie currently operates 485 stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. The company has had its present name since 1955 and traces its roots back to 1925.

Prior to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005, Winn-Dixie was listed in the S&P 500 and had been traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "WIN" since February 18, 1952. The company was traded under the symbol "WINN" on the NASDAQ before its purchase. The bankruptcy also left the chain with fewer stores than it had in the late 1960s.

They are known for their private label Chek brand soft drinks, which are produced in over 20 different flavors plus diet and caffeine-free varieties—one of the widest assortments. They have also been known as "The Beef People". In its advertising and print media Winn-Dixie now uses the brand promises of "Fresh Checked Every Day" in its Jacksonville DMA, "Getting Better All The Time" in its locations in Central Florida, "El Sabor De Tu Pais", or "The Flavor Of Your Country", in its Miami area stores, and "Local Flavor Since 1956" in its Louisiana area stores. Winn-Dixie is also known for their slogan in Florida, "Beef, it's what's for dinner."

On December 19, 2011, BI-LO, another Southeastern supermarket chain, announced plans to purchase Winn-Dixie. On March 9, 2012, Winn-Dixie became a wholly owned subsidiary of BI-LO Holding and Winn-Dixie's ticker symbol was removed from the NASDAQ.[5] BI-LO Holdings announced at the time of acquisition that the merged company will be based in Winn-Dixie's former headquarters in Jacksonville. BI-LO had previously been based in Greenville, South Carolina.


The Winn-Dixie logo prior to 2006.
Recently remodeled Winn-Dixie #166 in Kingsland, Georgia
Typical Winn-Dixie truck at store #736 in Port Charlotte, Florida
a Winn-Dixie Marketplace store located in West Palm Beach FL


Winn-Dixie was founded and built up by William Milton Davis and his sons Artemus Darius Davis, James Elsworth Davis, Milton Austin Davis and Tine Wayne Davis. William Davis started in business in Burley, Idaho, where he bought a general store in 1914 that he later renamed Davis Mercantile. As was common then, he sold most goods on credit. The advent of cash-only grocery stores in the 1920s hurt Davis' business, as the new stores offered lower prices and larger selections.[6]

In 1925, William Davis borrowed $10,000 from his father and moved to Miami, Florida, where he purchased the Rockmoor Grocery. In 1927, the company was renamed Table Supply, and four more stores were opened. In 1931, the Davis family bought the Lively Stores chain for $10,000, to create a chain of 33 Table Supply stores across Florida from Miami to Tampa. William Milton Davis died in 1934, leaving his four sons in charge of the company.[7]

In 1939, the Davis brothers bought 51 percent of Winn & Lovett, a chain of 73 stores. In 1944, the brothers bought the remainder of Winn & Lovett and merged the two chains under the Winn & Lovett name. Company headquarters moved to Jacksonville. Winn & Lovett purchased the Steiden Stores chain of 31 stores in Kentucky in 1945, and Margaret Ann Stores, with 46 stores in Florida, in 1949. In 1952, Winn & Lovett became the first industrial corporation based in Florida to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).[7]


Winn & Lovett continued to grow by acquiring other chains, including Penney Stores in Mississippi, and Ballentine Stores and Eden Stores, both in South Carolina, all in 1955. Also in 1955, Winn & Lovett bought the 117-store Dixie Home chain, and changed its name to Winn-Dixie.

In 1956, Winn-Dixie bought Ketner-Milner Stores in North Carolina, Hill Stores in Louisiana and Mississippi, and King Stores in Georgia.

In 1967, Winn-Dixie bought the City Markets chain in The Bahamas, effectively extending into The Caribbean. Operating 12 stores through its domestic subsidiary, W-D (Bahamas) Limited, the chain's competitors included the domestic Super Value Food Stores and Grand Union's own Caribbean operations until it sold the chain to Bahamian investors in 2006.[7][8]

In 1995, it expanded with the purchase of the Cincinnati-based Thriftway Food Drug.[9] In 2000, it acquired Jitney Jungle[10][11]


Although Winn-Dixie Stores (and its predecessor, Winn & Lovett) has been publicly traded since 1952, the Davis family has always maintained control of the corporation. As of February 2005, when the company entered bankruptcy, the heirs of William Milton Davis still held about 35 percent of Winn-Dixie stock.[12]

The Davis brothers also became involved in Florida state politics, supporting conservative causes. It is reported that their financial support helped George Smathers beat incumbent U.S. Senator Claude Pepper in 1950. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Donald Regan is reported to have said of his financial guru, James E. Davis: "When J.E. calls, I listen."[6] It is reported that after reading Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery, James E. Davis began a program of Winn-Dixie supporting historically Black colleges and universities.[7]

The Davis brothers endowed the Stetson University School of Business Administration with a building, Davis Hall, which was dedicated in 1967. On the dedicatory plaque inside the building, below the names of the donors, there was written the inscription, "Learn management that you may produce or distribute goods and services to improve the living for the people and produce a good return on invested capital for investors."[13]

In the 90's Winn Dixie gave a generous contribution to the Boy Scouts of America of the Central Florida Council, resulting in the renaming of Camp La-No Che as the "Winn-Dixie Scout Reservation".

Winn-Dixie has long been involved in Jacksonville, including being considered the official supermarket of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL).[14]


Amicus Bank FSB jointly operated MarketPlace Bank from 2000-2002 with 185 outlets in Florida.

Financial difficulties[edit]

A Winn-Dixie store closing in Sarasota, Florida

In 2003, when the chain had over 1,000 stores, the company's stock was the worst performing of the S&P 500. In April 2004, Winn-Dixie announced the closure of 156 stores, including all 111 stores located in the Midwest. Included were over 20 stores that had operated under the Thriftway name in and around Cincinnati; they had been purchased by Winn-Dixie in 1995. The company had been hit hard by competition, especially from Publix and Wal-Mart. Another 40 stores in the Atlanta area were converted to their Save Rite Grocery Warehouse brand, as an alternative to store closure. Also, the company announced it was pulling out of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia altogether.


On February 22, 2005, Winn-Dixie filed for bankruptcy. On June 21, it announced the sale or closure of 326 stores, resulting in the loss of over 22,000 jobs.[15] Winn-Dixie closed all its stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Once the restructuring had completed, Winn-Dixie was to operate in the Bahamas and in five of the Deep South states, operating throughout Florida, the southeastern half of Louisiana, the southeast corner of Mississippi, most of Alabama, and the southwest and coastal corners of Georgia. The closures left Winn-Dixie with fewer stores than it had in the 1950s.

On February 28, 2006, it was announced that 35 more stores were to be sold or closed within the coming months, with the Central and South Florida areas being the most affected. On March 31, 2006, it was announced that the chain would sell its 12 Bahamian locations, which had been operated by a wholly owned subsidiary, W-D, Limited, under the names City Market and Winn-Dixie.[16]

Emergence from bankruptcy and acquisition by BI-LO[edit]

The Winn-Dixie logo in 2006.
A pallet of Chek branded sodas in the backroom of Winn-Dixie store #0736

On June 29, 2006, Winn-Dixie announced that it had filed a plan of reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. The company emerged from Chapter 11 protection on November 21, 2006 in a much stronger financial position.[17] Upon emerging from bankruptcy in 2006 Winn-Dixie made great strides toward success, which included a steadfast effort to modernize its existing store base while focusing on new locations for the future.

On December 19, 2011, Winn-Dixie agreed to be sold to BI-LO for $530 million[18] or $560 million.[19] As part of the deal, Winn-Dixie became a subsidiary of BI-LO, though its stores will continue to operate under the Winn-Dixie name.

As of March 9, 2012, Winn-Dixie became part of BI-LO Holdings, the parent company of both BI-LO and Winn-Dixie, ending 67 years of Davis family ownership. Altogether, the combined company operates 690 stores in eight southeastern states, employing approximately 63,000 team members. The merged company is based in Winn-Dixie's former headquarters in Jacksonville. BI-LO was previously headquartered in Greenville, S.C.

On October 8, 2013, all remaining Sweetbay Supermarket locations were rebranded into Winn-Dixie.


Winn-Dixie has run over 60 private label brands over the years. In 2003 the company cut the number down to a three-tier system of brands: the "Prestige" brand for upscale private label products, "Winn-Dixie" for its mainstream items, and "Thrifty Maid" for its value items.[20] In 2007, all three brands received redesigned packaging with plans to replace the "Prestige" brand with "Winn & Lovett".[21][22] In 2010, Winn-Dixie replaced its value-centered brand Thrifty Maid with "ValuTime".[23] ValueTime was replaced with Clear Value in 2012. The brands of "Clear Value", for the budget-minded shopper, "Winn-Dixie", which is designed to be as good as or better than national brands, and "Winn & Lovett", the premium, top-tier label, are the current private labels the organization uses store-wide. Winn-Dixie carries a store-brand line of organic and natural foods.[24] These brands are on numerous products in almost all departments. Other category-specific brands include "Chek" for the store-brand soft drinks and "Kuddles" for the store-brand baby-related items.

The manufacturer code portion of the UPC remains 21140 for the "Winn-Dixie" and "Winn & Lovett" labels.

In early 2013, BI-LO phased out its own private label soft drinks in its BI-LO stores in favor of the "Chek" brand.

Winn-Dixie employs more than 48,000 associates who serve customers in approximately 518 grocery stores, 145 liquor stores and 393 in-store pharmacies throughout the five southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.[25]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Review
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Winn-Dixie. Retrieved on November 22, 2011. "Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., 5050 Edgewood Court, Jacksonville, FL 32254"
  3. ^ SN's Top 75 Retailers for 2010, Supermarket News, Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  4. ^ "2013 Top 100 Retailers". Stores. Retrieved Oct 21, 2013. 
  5. ^,0,7013774.story[dead link]
  6. ^ a b Most Important Floridians of the 20th Century - Davis Brothers, The Ledger, Archived URL retrieved January 25, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d Winn-Dixie: A Brief History, Winn-Dixie, Archived URL retrieved January 25, 2012.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2],, Retrieved December 5, 2010
  10. ^ "What's in store for the Jackson metro-area Winn-Dixies after they close?". The Clarion-Ledger. 26 June 2005. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  11. ^ "Court OKs Sale of 12 Winn-Dixie Supermarkets". Refrigerated Transporter. 22 May 2006. Retrieved 2013-11-04. [dead link]
  12. ^ Hoover's report on Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Hoover's, Retrieved June 26, 2006.
  13. ^ Gilbert Lycan, Stetson University: The First 100 Years (DeLand: 1983) at pp. 355-356.
  14. ^ Winning record helps Jaguars meet sponsorship goals, Jacksonville Business Journal, September 22, 2006.
  15. ^ Winn-Dixie cutting 22,000 jobs, CNN/Money, June 21, 2005.
  16. ^ Winn-Dixie to Sell 12 Stores in Bahamas, The Associated Press, March 30, 2006.[dead link]
  17. ^ "Winn-Dixie Emerges from Chapter 11" (Press release). November 21, 2006. Archived from the original on Jan 4, 2007. 
  18. ^ Egan, Matt (December 19, 2011). "BI-LO Buys Winn-Dixie for $530 Million; Deal Translates to 75% Premium". Fox Business. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  19. ^ Walker, Elaine (December 19, 2011). "Winn-Dixie sold to BI-LO". Miami Herald. Retrieved 5 January 2012. [dead link]
  20. ^ Winn-Dixie Updates Brand, Orlando Business Journal, July 1, 2003.
  21. ^ Less is more for Winn-Dixie brands, Jacksonville Business Journal, November 19, 2007.
  22. ^ Winn-Dixie pins future on private label products, Orlando Business Journal, December 3, 2007.[dead link]
  23. ^ Winn-Dixie Store Brands, Winn-Dixie Official Website, December 16, 2010. Archived December 7, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Winn-Dixie Store Brands - Organics and Naturals, Winn-Dixie Official Website, December 16, 2010. Archived August 30, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^

External links[edit]