Saturday, December 25, 2010

Winn Dixie

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: WINN) is an American supermarket chain based in Jacksonville, Florida. Winn-Dixie has ranked number 24 in the 2010 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2009 fiscal year estimated sales of $7.3 billion by Supermarket News.and was ranked the 43rd largest retailer in the United States based on 2006 revenues by Stores Magazine. Winn-Dixie currently operates 514 stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. The company has existed under its present name since 1955 and can date 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 is currently traded under the symbol "WINN" on the NASDAQ. 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 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's business, as the new stores offered lower prices and larger selections.

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 thirty-three Table Supply stores across Florida from Miami to Tampa. William Milton Davis died in 1934, leaving his four sons in charge of the company.

In 1939, the Davis brothers bought fifty-one percent of Winn-Lovett, a chain of seventy-three stores. In 1944, the brothers adopted Winn-Lovett as the company name and moved the company headquarters to Jacksonville. Winn-Lovett purchased the Steiden Stores chain of thirty-one stores in Kentucky in 1945, and Margaret Ann Stores, with forty-six 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.


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.[4] The last purchase of a chain was in 1995, with the purchase of the Cincinnati-based Thriftway Food Drug.


Although Winn-Dixie Stores has been a publicly owned corporation 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 thirty-five percent of Winn-Dixie stock.

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." 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.

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 is involved in their hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., including being considered the official supermarket of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars. Some Jacksonville-area stores give away Jaguars tickets during the NFL season.

Financial difficulties
In 2003, when the chain had over 1000 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 twenty stores that had operated under the Thriftway name in and around Cincinnati, Ohio; 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 stores in North Carolina and South Carolina closed.

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. 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 four 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.

On February 28, 2006, it was announced that thirty-five 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 twelve Bahamian locations, which had been operated by a wholly owned subsidiary, W-D, Limited, under the names City Market and Winn-Dixie.

Emergence From Bankruptcy and The Present
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. Their bankruptcy case is being handled in the Jacksonville area by Steve Busey and Cyndi Jackson of the law firm, Smith, Hulsey, & Busey, and by the New York firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

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. A timeline listed below describes key events.
November 21-Winn-Dixie officially emerges from Chapter 11 protection with $725 million in exit financing as a new company and with a new Board of Directors.
November 22-New shares of Winn-Dixie stock begin to trade on the NASDAQ stock exchange on a “when-issued” basis under the ticker symbol WINNV.
December 21-Winn-Dixie completes its initial distribution of common stock and the new shares begin to trade on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol WINN.

June 22-Winn-Dixie announces the appointment of Dan Portnoy as Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer.
September 26-Store #1439 reopens in New Orleans almost 25 months to the day it was severely damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It is the first grocery store to reopen east of the Industrial Canal in a section of New Orleans known as East Orleans.
September 27-Peter Lynch rings the opening bell of the NASDAQ Stock Exchange from inside the rebuilt Store 1439 in New Orleans, La. With him is Mayor Ray Nagin and a host of local and state officials.
November 7-Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. holds its first annual shareholders meeting since the company reorganized and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

July 9-Peter Lynch and Mayor John Peyton celebrate the grand opening of remodeled store #37 in downtown Jacksonville.
August 15-Winn-Dixie and Kellogg dedicated its 10th house for Habitat for Humanity in Atlantic Beach in Jacksonville.
September 19-Less than 18 months after announcing a major remodel initiative for all of its stores, Winn-Dixie Stores completed its 100th store remodel in the Miami suburb of Hialeah.
October 24-Mary Kellmanson, formerly of Wegmans, joins Winn-Dixie as Vice President of Marketing.
October 31-The eighth annual Winn-Dixie Foundation Charity Classic Golf Tournament, an annual fundraising event for the not-for-profit Winn-Dixie Foundation, raised $1.5 million for local charities in five states.

January 7-New prototype SaveRite store #2601 re-opens in Jacksonville.
May 13-Winn-Dixie breaks ground on first new store since emerging from bankruptcy located in Covington, Louisiana.
July 15-Winn-Dixie celebrates the completion of the Jacksonville DMA remodels with 51 locations becoming "Fresh Checked Every Day".

February 3-Winn-Dixie opened its first brand new store since reorganization in Covington, LA.
This location also earned the EPA's GreenChill certification.
June 9-Winn-Dixie opens its new "prototype" store in Margate, FL.

July 27-Winn-Dixie announced a reorganization that will result in 30 non-renovated, underperforming stores being closed, roughly 120 corporate and support positions being eliminated, and operating regions being consolidated from four to three. Of the 30 stores to be closed, 24 are located in Florida, 2 each in Georgia and Mississippi, and 1 each in Alabama and Louisiana. The store closures and layoffs are slated for completion by September 22, 2010.
September 22-All 30 non-remodeled, underperforming locations are closed.
September 30-Winn-Dixie celebrates the completion of a multimillion-dollar expansion and remodel in Mobile, Alabama as the third "transformational" store is debuted.
November 01-Winn-Dixie leverages its heritage as "The Beef People" and improves upon this by introducing their "Neighborhood Butcher" program in all stores.
December 01 -Winn-Dixie works to reach customers through digital marketing programs by starting a YouTube channel showcasing its "Neighborhood Butcher" program.
December 07 - MyWebGrocer chosen by Winn-Dixie to connect with its customers through online and mobile media channel. An initial way to create a more interactive and digital shopping experience is through the new Winn-Dixie App!


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. In 2007, all three brands received redesigned packaging with plans to replace the "Prestige" brand with "Winn & Lovett".. In 2010, Winn-Dixie replaced it's value-centered brand Thrifty Maid with "ValuTime". [23]. The brands of "ValuTime", for the budget-minded shopper, "Winn-Dixie, which is designed to be as good as or better than national brands, and "Winn and 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 sodas and "Kuddles" for the store-brand baby-related items.

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