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The new produce department in one of the Covington, La., stores.

Winn-Dixie debuts latest store remodels

Southeastern Grocers on track with retail refresh program

Winn-Dixie this weekend is taking the wraps off remodeled stores in Louisiana as parent Southeastern Grocers Inc. proceeds with a companywide store upgrade program.

On Saturday, Sept. 8, grand-reopening events will be held for a Winn-Dixie store in Mandeville and two others in Covington (at 70431 Highway 21 and 2100 Collins Blvd.). Southeastern Grocers President and CEO Anthony Hucker and Covington Mayor Mike Cooper are slated to take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the store on Highway 21.

“Winn-Dixie is proud to continue our strong commitment, of more than 60 years, to Louisiana communities with our three newly remodeled Covington and Mandeville stores, offering exceptional service and the freshest products at the right price. We take pride in the renewal of our stores, but we are also honored to engage in solid community partnerships,” Hucker said in a statement.

Enhanced fresh food departments and offerings headline the improvements at the three stores. The expanded produce section brings a wider assortment of fruit and vegetables, including organic items, while an enlarged bakery area features new displays and selections, along with fresh bread daily.

In the deli, a sharper focus on convenience adds more grab-and-go meal choices. That includes a broader array of easy lunch and dinner options, including a hot bar with rotisserie chicken, a wing bar with a range of flavors, smokehouse barbecue items and ready-made salads.

The full-service meat department has an on-site butcher to provide fresh cuts of meat on request. Meanwhile, an updated seafood department includes more varieties, such as fresh whole fish and the option to select a “Seafood Made Easy” meal to reduce cooking time at home.

Also new are Southeastern Grocers’ line of Naturally Better private label products, which include gluten-free, organic and natural items.

Other enhancements with the remodels include a greater variety of craft beer and wine selections, an updated health and beauty section with more products and bigger grocery aisles with expanded assortments. The stores, too, house a new-look floral department with a wider variety of products and sport new façade signage and a more contemporary color palate and in-store signage.

After a quick emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the end of May, Southeastern Grocers said it aims to complete 100 store remodels across its Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más banners by the end of this year.

At the time, the company reported that 28 remodels already had been completed. Changes under the program also have entailed banner conversion at some locations, such as Winn-Dixies becoming Harveys stores.

“We will continue at speed, both this year and next year and the following year, until we’ve done the entire fleet,” Hucker told the Jacksonville Daily Record in late August about the store remodel initiative.

Southeastern Grocers’ restructuring, announced in mid-March, included a refinancing that lowered debt by about $600 million and the closing of 94 stores. The company currently operates more than 575 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

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