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Winn-Dixie drives Southeastern Grocers’ Florida expansion

New Jacksonville location earmarked for a 2023 opening

Southeastern Grocers (SEG) is pushing ahead with its Florida expansion through 2023, led by its flagship Winn-Dixie banner.

SEG said Thursday that it plans to follow up last week’s opening of a Winn-Dixie supermarket in Westlake with another store in Jacksonville’s College Park shopping center next year (see rendering above). For the latter location, at 999 University Blvd., Winn-Dixie will occupy a roughly 49,000-square-foot space where it previously operated a store from 1997 to 2006.

To date, SEG has renewed more than 70% of its store network, up from 55% as of the end of 2020. The Jacksonville-based regional grocer now operates about 420 supermarkets under the Winn-Dixie, Harveys and Fresco y Más banners in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.

SEG tallied 78 store improvement projects across its brick-and-mortar footprint last year, compared with 41 projects in 2020. In 2021, the grocer completed 54 remodels and opened 24 new locations, the latter including two Winn-Dixie supermarkets (in St. Augustine Shores and Viera, Fla.), two Fresco y Más Hispanic grocery stores (in Tampa and Deltona, Fla.), 19 liquor stores and one WDs stand-alone liquor store, a new retail concept that debuted in September.

Those projects built on 32 store upgrades, eight new Winn-Dixies (Boynton Beach, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Lakewood Ranch, Lake Mary, West Melbourne and two stores in Jacksonville, Fla.) and one new Fresco y Más location (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) in 2020.

“We are always looking to better serve our customers, and the new College Park Winn-Dixie store presents an exciting opportunity for us to expand in our hometown,” Southeastern Grocers President and CEO Anthony Hucker said in a statement. “We plan to make a significant investment in the new store and provide more than 100 job opportunities to enrich the revitalization of the Arlington community and ensure our new customers receive remarkable service.”

The approximately 50,000-square-foot Westlake Winn-Dixie — SEG’s first new store of 2022 — officially launched March 2 in a grand opening event. Highlights of the new supermarket, located at 5060 Seminole Pratt Whitney Rd., include a large deli area with a range of grab-and-go meal options (take-and-bake pizzas, fresh sushi, a sandwich station, hot soup and a salad bar); an adjoining Winn-Dixie liquor store with a wine chiller; an in-store pharmacy with consultation room; a fresh bakery with more than 15 varieties of artisan-baked breads plus pastries and desserts; and a full-service meat department with Certified Angus Beef and prime beef as well as hand-carved meats cut to order, such as pork loin, roast beef, oven-roasted turkey breast and roasted eye round.

The meat section also offers 12 flavors of fresh-made sausages, ranging from sweet Italian to habanero mango. Other store features include enhanced specialty food, fresh produce and seafood departments.

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