AddThis

Grocer Winn-Dixie aggressively remodels and expands

TAMPA, Fla. — Regional grocer Winn-Dixie said it is working hard to change a tarnished image.

The chain, fresh out of bankruptcy, is in the throes of rolling out its previously announced remodeling, expansion and new development plan that involves an investment of about $100 million.

In Sarasota, Fla., a remodeled store will feature such upgraded features as a café with free Wi-Fi, an imported wine and craft beer section, a sushi bar, pizza bar and several stations where chefs prepare hot dinners for shoppers on the go.

The renovated stores are called “Transformational models” by Winn-Dixie and, said the grocer, are designed to rival Whole Foods or Fresh Market in terms of image.

Winn-Dixie filed for bankruptcy in February 2005, and then emerged with a rebuilding plan that involved, initially, a freshening of 230 stores and then the more full-scale remodels that launched as a pilot in pre-selected markets. Seventeen stores will change over to the transformational model this fiscal year, according to Winn-Dixie. And the company has targeted at least 60% of company stores for the transformational overhaul.