Winn-Dixie Files Chapter 11

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Grocery chain Winn-Dixie Stores continues to operate its 920 stores after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week.

The Jacksonville, FL-based grocer and 23 of its U.S. subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 21. Winn-Dixie hopes to cut about $60 million in leases for 150 stores and two warehouses that are already closed, and may sell off some stores and its manufacturing facilities.

Meanwhile, all stores in eight Southern states (and the Bahamas) will stay open, and Winn-Dixie’s Customer Reward Card program continues as usual. The chain won’t change its promotion practices for coupons and gift cards.

Winn-Dixie plans to beef up merchandising, especially for perishables, and add sales competitions between stores to motivate staff and “restore a sales-driven culture across the organization,” said President-CEO Peter Lynch in a statement.

“Having spent the last two months taking an in-depth look at the company and visiting over 50 stores across our chain, I am convinced that the Chapter 11 process will give us the opportunity we need to restructure our finances, strengthen our business performance and achieve a sustained turnaround at Winn-Dixie,” Lynch said.

Winn-Dixie secured an $800 million debtor-in-possession financing facility from Wachovia Bank, N.A. supplement its cash flow during reorganization.

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