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Winn-Dixie finishes its reorganization

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Apr 21, 2021

Winn-Dixie personnel hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 14 to celebrate the grand reopening of the store. PAULETTE LeBLANC

pleblanc@breezenewspapers.com

After months of reorganization, Winn-Dixie held its grand reopening on April 14. For store manager Dan Loughren, the opening was a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle it took running the store while getting everything ready.

“I feel great,” said Loughren. “The last two months have been the hardest in my life as far as work but also the most fulfilling. We’re so thankful for all the hardworking employees and we’re thankful for all our customers that put up with us through this last two months of moving everything around, construction, dust and dirt. We are just so thankful to be on this island and part of this community.”

Eddie Garcia, executive vice president for store growth for Southeastern Groceries, admits much more went into the changes at Winn-Dixie than people likely realize.

“First we started with the customers,” said Garcia. “We talked to customers that shop us and we talked to customers that don’t necessarily shop us yet. We asked what people like about the store, and obviously Dan came up because people love our store manager. There were other things that they look for, so we added the salad bar for people who are maybe out fishing and want to grab and go.”

The deli, said Garcia, was a significant investment, as much time and attention went to that area of the store. Another topic of note is the freshened appearance and evolution of brand.

“We started with red first,” said Garcia. “The feedback we got was that people wanted the departments to pop. If you walk in and you want seafood, all you have to do is look up and then you can go straight to the seafood department.”

Going a bit darker in color has created an intentional feeling of warmth, while lighting has been updated to create a more vivid, energetic atmosphere, he said.

“We just want to continue to be a part of the community,” said Garcia. “The store has been great for us and partnering with all the local charities that came in this morning has been really heart-warming.”

The Pine Island Winn-Dixie is at 9864 Stringfellow Road, St. James City. To contact the store, call 239-283-4404.