Personally, I don't think that Winn-Dixie could keep going for long even as a slimmed down Florida-only operation. With a store base that small, they simply lose any ability to be competitive on price. At that point, Publix and Wal-Mart could easily make a run at a price war to drive them out of business. My guess is that the majority of stores will close completely, with Albertsons potentially picking up a few of the prime locations.pseudo3d wrote: ↑February 17th, 2018, 11:46 amI think this first round is going to be similar to the first round of Albertsons LLC closures, that is, the stores that weren't profitable or marginally profitable but not worth enough to keep around. And guess what? Very few, if any, are still operating as supermarkets. Nobody is going to want the 200 stores SEG is closing, not Albertsons, not Kroger, not Publix. Some may be reopened as Walmart Neighborhood Market or even Food Lion but that's not a sure thing. Most of the first 200 stores will probably be largely Harveys stores or stores that were slated to become Harveys, and history will repeat itself with Harveys being the new SaveRite.wnetmacman wrote: ↑February 17th, 2018, 7:27 amChance, yes. Ability, sadly, no. Unless Albertsons can find a bank willing to lend them money, it won't happen. It's just too much right now.
An SEG asset sale would be akin to an antique sale. I think that's part of the reason they haven't sold the chain yet; there's nothing usable for anyone there.
Always nice to be remembered. I would say that with a few newer stores, most of the WD store fleet is in excess of 20 years old. Not sure of Bi-Lo, as I don't live close to one, but I don't believe numbers there are any different. I think it's a last ditch effort to jettison really dead weight (LA, MS, AL and GA) and make WD a Florida-only chain. That would make more sense at this point. And I believe they could find buyers for the remaining stores. In Louisiana for sure, the Baton Rouge Shoppers Value franchisee has been gobbling them up, and Rouses may be interested in some stores.pseudo3d wrote: ↑February 16th, 2018, 11:30 pmOof. I was right though, wasn't I? Officially it hasn't happened yet but "nearly 200 stores" sounds about right. While that's pretty heavy (between a fourth and a third of the chain), from what wnetmacman says at least that amount of the chain are not very good stores and aren't fit for much anyway. I'd be interested in where those stores are. Personal predictions say that 30 Harveys will close (about half of that name), about 6 for Fresco y Más (a third), 20 out of Alabama, 8 out of MS (already they're down to 11), 40 assorted Bi-Lo stores, and about 85 assorted Winn-Dixie stores out of Florida (a fourth of the stores there, heavily affecting former Sweetbay stores).
If SEG files for bankruptcy, expect a conversion late in the game to liquidation, and a possible selloff (of the fire sale variety) possibly to Albertsons if they can get the money to expand. I don't think any of the stores fit Kroger's mentality.
The thing with Albertsons/Safeway and Winn-Dixie in Florida is that Albertsons knows that the stores it would really like to have are Winn-Dixie's better, nicer stores, but SEG won't sell those until the very end. If SEG is able to get their store count under 200 with a Florida-centric collection of the best W-D stores, then I can see that finally happening. As it stands, SEG will still have over 500 stores even after the round of closures. Their best and perhaps only option right now is to make that the goal (even if Albertsons isn't the ultimate buyer). Close down the worst stores, sell off the non-core stores, and reinvest in that core.
As far as Lousiana goes, I think that Rouses will be the likely beneficiary in a market-share sense, even if they do not reopen in all of the former Winn-Dixie locations. I anticipate that many of the former Winn-Dixie locations will not even reopen as grocers at all, considering how outdated and undersized the store base is as a whole. This could also give Albertsons an opportunity to expand in the market, though my guess is that they will not pursue such a move considering how ill-fated their last Lousiana expansion was. Bi-Lo will be interesting to watch, as some of their best stores could potentially be targets for Publix, as Knight said.