Winn-Dixie Tries to Reformat Image
Winn-Dixie is a long way from the chain’s heyday, but the
grocery chain is looking to make a new future for itself a few years after
having emerged from the protection of Chapter 11.
Part of the new Winn-Dixie
is a concept store that is being introduced to consumers in Florida for the
first time. A consumer in Louisiana, where Winn-Dixie first tested the concept,
told the chain’s CEO Peter Lynch that it was akin to a Whole Foods but without
the receipt shock.
"This store really speaks volumes about the fresh and local strategy
we’ve been working on,’ Mr. Lynch told The Miami Herald. "It really
gets this new brand image out there with the consumers. As they see these new
stores, they can see clearly where we’re heading for the future.’
store’s features are an expanded deli, a rotisserie bar where various meats
are carved to order, a barbeque bar and a global cuisine station. The store
has double the number of specialty items in the average Winn-Dixie and about
30 percent more organic products.
"Our customers are very time-challenged and we want to provide solutions,’
Nancy Gaddy, Winn-Dixie’s vice president in charge of deli and bakery, told
the Herald. "If people are thinking about what’s for dinner tonight,
instead of going to get fast food, we want them to come here.’
Winn-Dixie is making
a conscious effort to appeal to consumers with more upscale tastes in the
"Obviously, we’ve lost a lot of those customers to Publix over the years
because we didn’t offer them what they were looking for,’ Mr. Lynch said. "This
is an opportunity to bring them back.’
Mr. Lynch said the concept stores in
Louisiana are grabbing share from competitors.
"It’s exceeded expectations and my expectations are big,’ he said.
Short, retail analyst with BMO Capital Markets, said of Winn-Dixie that they "are
good operators,’ but face an uphill battle with consumers and investors. "Winn-Dixie
has a perception head wind. I’m not quite sure what it takes to make that go
away," she told the Herald.
Discussion Question: Is Winn-Dixie on the right track with its new concept
store and other changes the company has made since emerging from bankruptcy
in 2006? How would you recommend they overcome the lasting perceptions of