COULD IT BE: W-D AS ANOTHER PUBLIX WANNABE?
As many of you probably have heard, Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie Stores filed for bankruptcy protection this week. W-D until recent years had been one of the dominant grocery chains through the Southeast, especially among customer in the lower and middle income catagories and in a number of smaller towns across the region. I remember growing up in southeast Mississippi, most towns had a Winn-Dixie, Sunflower, or Jitney Jungle...or a couple of those.
It looks as though that when W-D eventually comes out of their current situation, it will attempt to project itself as a more "upscale" chain, in the same genre as Lakeland-based Publix. The idea is that Winn-Dixie's traditional customer base has turned away as Wal-Mart Supercentres have been springing up featuring lower prices because of their high volume purchasing power.
It is going to be extremely difficult, and will take a significant amount of time. We'll see if W-D can "out Publix-Publix"...I personally doubt it, but it'll be interesting to see how they try.