Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. No non-grocery posts.
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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by Knight » July 16th, 2019, 6:52 am

cjd wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 7:15 pm
Another thing the chain would have going for it, is the Sweetbay stores they acquired from Delhaize. Most Sweetbay stores had been kept fairly up to date. A number of these locations were smaller 1980s stores that were originally Kash N Karry or early 1990s Food Lion stores that changed to Kash N Karry before converting to the Sweetbay banner, and may be a bit small for Publix to want to keep. I know of a few former early 1990s Food Lions that Publix did acquire and operate for quite a while with minimal changes, but they are in process of being replaced with new stores.

But on the other hand, quite a few of these former Sweetbay locations are newer stores, since Sweetbay was still building new stores right up to the point they were sold off to Winn Dixie. So there are some that were only a few years old when W-D bought them, and these would be very nice locations to have and are in nice shopping centers as well.
A quantity of acquired Sweetbay stores have replaced adjacent and nearby Winn-Dixie stores. Stores have also closed through closing announcements in 2018 and 2019.

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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by Knight » July 16th, 2019, 7:00 am

cjd wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 7:34 pm
Knight wrote:
July 10th, 2019, 9:10 pm
It would not surprise me if Publix acquires a quantity of Winn-Dixie store locations, and if some stores were in trade areas with Publix nearby and able to support two or more Publix stores. WInn-Dixie stores constructed and opened in the 1990's would be easier to update and convert. Winn-Dixie stores constructed and opened prior to and during the 1980's would require tear down and rebuild projects.
I've been in one of the Transformational stores that opened in the 2010s and I believe that is the kind of store Publix could operate with possibly just signage changes. They are very nice stores, and have large service departments and a good layout, but unfortunately you could probably count the number of stores that got built or remodeled to that format on two hands. Some of these stores have even had decor updates in the last few years already which is really surprising for Winn DIxie these days to update a store again in less than 10 years. I suspect those stores that have already had that are in very competitive neighborhoods.

I've actually seen one or two former 90s Marketplace stores that Publix still operates today without many changes.

Not sure how it is in other states but here in FL quite a number of Winn Dixie stores were remodeled in 2008-2010. These remodels weren't as nice as the Transformational stores but are still pretty good. I think Publix could possibly swing some of these stores, but the major issue I see are the service departments in those kind of stores are still small like most of the 80s or 90s era Winn Dixies were. Most of these stores were originally mid 80s Winn Dixie or 90s Marketplace stores, and did not have any expansions or rearranging like the Transformational stores have.

Also I'm a big Publix fan I admit, but I will say that the recent times I've been to a Winn Dixie I've found the service to be pretty good. Not to the level you'd expect at Publix but not any worse than other chains, IMO. Also the Sweetbay stores they aquired typically are still run with the same management they had when they were Sweetbay. And I found most of their stores to be well-run.

The main isssue I see with W-D is they can't seem to get an idea or theme in place and stick with it. So they end up with constant gimmicks that last for a few years at most and are gone. And with all of their changes they don't have a store base that is as even or consistent as Publix is known for.

At the same time however, I do feel that Publix is slipping a bit as they have expanded to other states. I feel like they aren't as polished and professional looking as they were a few years ago. It used to be you'd never see an employee with an untucked shirt or even just a T-shirt but that is becoming seen often around here. Not saying it's a big deal but I do feel they seem to becoming more run of the mill as a the culture of the company seems to be changing.
I know of at least four former Winn-Dixie stores now operating as Publix stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Publix has growth challenges in Florida. It continues to open additional stores as Southeastern Grocers continues to close Winn-Dixie, Harvey's, and Fresco y Más stores. With additional stores, maintaining standards with better talent spread out can create issues. Publix is still doing well with a longtime competitor failing and specialty grocers expanding.

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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by Knight » July 16th, 2019, 7:15 am

veteran+ wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 7:48 am
W/D lost the biggest opportunity way back when Pantry Pride (Food Fair) finally disappeared.

They could have been the Low Price Leader but failed to respond and allowed Walmart to take control of Florida.

Now it's Publix for "service", convenience and presentation and Walmart for Price!

And I agree with the observation of the dilution of the Publix "reputation story"! The farther south you go in the Publix territory (with few exceptions) the worse it gets.

I was there recently (Dade, Broward and Palm Beach) where I used to compete with Publix and noticed the change.

So sad to see the obliteration of competition in S. Florida (for customers and employees).
Florida is not the only state Winn-Dixie has been obliterated.

In North Carolina, Winn-Dixie was obliterated by supermarket Ingle's and Harris Teeter and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter.

In South Carolina, WInn-Dixie was obliterated by supermarket BI-LO and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter. BI-LO is now being obliterated by supermarkets Ingle's, Publix, and Walmart Neighborhood Market and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter.

In Tennessee, WInn-Dixie was obliterated by supermarket Food City in Knoxville, Kingsport, and Johnson City and by supermarket BI-LO in Chattanooga. (Southeastern Grocers has since divested BI-LO stores in the Chattanooga area to Food City,)

In Virginia, Winn-Dixie has been obliterated by supermarkets Farm Fresh, Harris Teeter, Kroger and Ukrop's and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter. (Farm Fresh and Ukrop's have since disappeared.)

In Georgia, Winn-Dixie has been obliterated by supermarkets Kroger and Publix and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter.

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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by wnetmacman » July 16th, 2019, 7:30 am

Knight wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 7:15 am
Florida is not the only state Winn-Dixie has been obliterated.

In North Carolina, Winn-Dixie was obliterated by supermarket Ingle's and Harris Teeter and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter.

In South Carolina, WInn-Dixie was obliterated by supermarket BI-LO and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter. BI-LO is now being obliterated by supermarkets Ingle's, Publix, and Walmart Neighborhood Market and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter.

In Tennessee, WInn-Dixie was obliterated by supermarket Food City in Knoxville, Kingsport, and Johnson City and by supermarket BI-LO in Chattanooga. (Southeastern Grocers has since divested BI-LO stores in the Chattanooga area to Food City,)

In Virginia, Winn-Dixie has been obliterated by supermarkets Farm Fresh, Harris Teeter, Kroger and Ukrop's and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter. (Farm Fresh and Ukrop's have since disappeared.)

In Georgia, Winn-Dixie has been obliterated by supermarkets Kroger and Publix and hypermarket Walmart Supercenter.
You forgot Louisiana;

West of the Mississippi, they were pretty much obliterated by Brookshire Grocery's Super 1 Foods stores and Walmart, with help from a few smaller local chains.

East of the Mississippi, they have come under fire from Rouses Markets and Walmart.

In both of the cases above, Rouses and Brookshire have actually taken over many of WD's assets in the regions. And they've done pretty well with them.

Anybody notice the last on each is always Walmart. Wonder who they should all be watching for?

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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by Knight » July 16th, 2019, 11:29 am

wnetmacman wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 7:30 am
You forgot Louisiana;

West of the Mississippi, they were pretty much obliterated by Brookshire Grocery's Super 1 Foods stores and Walmart, with help from a few smaller local chains.

East of the Mississippi, they have come under fire from Rouses Markets and Walmart.

In both of the cases above, Rouses and Brookshire have actually taken over many of WD's assets in the regions. And they've done pretty well with them.

Anybody notice the last on each is always Walmart. Wonder who they should all be watching for?
I did not include Louisiana as WInn-Dixie continues to participate at the present. I focused on states where Winn-Dixie exited.

I forgot to include states where Winn-Dixie exited: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio are dominated by Kroger. Acquiring regional chain Thriftway in the 1990's did not help Winn-Dixie.

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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by wnetmacman » July 16th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Knight wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 11:29 am
I did not include Louisiana as WInn-Dixie continues to participate at the present. I focused on states where Winn-Dixie exited.
For all practical purposes, Winn Dixie has exited 80% of Louisiana. They are no longer in Houma, Lafayette, Alexandria, and any other town that had stores west of the Mississippi River. Only 7 stores exist on the Westbank area of New Orleans, and only 26 remain open in the whole state. The New Orleans division operated over 150 stores at its height, stretching as far west as Lake Charles, and north to Natchitoches, Winnsboro and Ferriday in Louisiana, and over most of Mississippi.
I forgot to include states where Winn-Dixie exited: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio are dominated by Kroger. Acquiring regional chain Thriftway in the 1990's did not help Winn-Dixie.
Texas was a victim of absolute neglect. While WD attempted to purchase or replace aging stores, at the end of their time in Texas the average store there was over 20 years, and most hadn't been remodeled in at least 10. Because of the conditions in most, a good deal of these stores didn't sell to other grocers upon the division's closure, and the few that did mostly aren't supermarkets now. About the only operator that has kept a few is Brookshire Grocery Company, and even a good deal of theirs have closed too.

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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by cjd » July 16th, 2019, 4:00 pm

Winn-Dixie's more widespread problem was they spread too quickly and didn't have anything in place to ensure that their chain was consistent. They spread too thin and didn't have money to update their existing stores, or focus on quality and service across their chain.

Publix is expanding in a similar fashion to how W-D did. While Publix has a stronger reputation and has been in the business for much longer than Winn Dixie had when they started expanding, to me there is still the possibility that something similar could happen if Publix doesn't continue to focus on their history and core values as the chain expands with new employees and management into new areas.

Publix has a great reputation, but they're going to have to work to continue that reputation, so that going to a store in VA for example is the same experience as it is in FL. Also, while Publix has great name recognition in the SE, as they spread to new states they really have to offer something that the competitors in that area don't. Especially if their prices are a bit higher.

While I haven't ever had a terrible experience at Publix, I can think of one or two stores where the service was consistently rude and that can happen at any store, so I wouldn't judge Publix on a whole from one experience. But it does seem they could have improved those stores given that it happened on multiple occasions.

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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by wnetmacman » July 16th, 2019, 4:11 pm

cjd wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 4:00 pm
Winn-Dixie's more widespread problem was they spread too quickly and didn't have anything in place to ensure that their chain was consistent. They spread too thin and didn't have money to update their existing stores, or focus on quality and service across their chain.
I somewhat agree, but slightly disagree with this. Winn Dixie built absolutely consistent stores; actually, too consistent. When they would buy up a chain, they would remove all the things that made that chain great (Buddies in Texas is a shining example; they had hardware sections that would put a current Lowe's to shame) and put in things they used in every other store. WD would gut the stores down to the bare walls and put the standard floorplan in (Produce to the front right, meats along the back, Dairy in the back left with Frozen Foods immediately next to that, a Deli-Bakery in the front Left, and customer service in the middle of the vestibule) Problem is, folks in Texas want things different from folks in Florida and even Louisiana. At the initial expansion time, they had the resources, but simply didn't do the research. Had they researched the market, they could have run away with it. Pricing has always been an issue with them as well, usually resorting to gimmicks to get folks in to pay the higher prices.
Publix is expanding in a similar fashion to how W-D did. While Publix has a stronger reputation and has been in the business for much longer than Winn Dixie had when they started expanding, to me there is still the possibility that something similar could happen if Publix doesn't continue to focus on their history and core values as the chain expands with new employees and management into new areas.

Publix has a great reputation, but they're going to have to work to continue that reputation, so that going to a store in VA for example is the same experience as it is in FL. Also, while Publix has great name recognition in the SE, as they spread to new states they really have to offer something that the competitors in that area don't. Especially if their prices are a bit higher.
I believe this very much hits the nail on the head. I've only shopped at a Publix in Florida, but in two wildly different parts of Florida (Tallahassee and Orlando), and the two stores couldn't have been more different, even though you felt like you were still in one of their stores. Rapid expansion without market research = Winn Dixie.
While I haven't ever had a terrible experience at Publix, I can think of one or two stores where the service was consistently rude and that can happen at any store, so I wouldn't judge Publix on a whole from one experience. But it does seem they could have improved those stores given that it happened on multiple occasions.
This can happen in any chain. Publix is usually a bit better on customer service. Winn-Dixie really didn't emphasize that again until recently. They just felt that customers would shop there, and that was that. I find in these days that stores will win more on price, but customer service can also make or break that.

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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by cjd » July 16th, 2019, 8:18 pm

Knight wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 6:52 am
A quantity of acquired Sweetbay stores have replaced adjacent and nearby Winn-Dixie stores. Stores have also closed through closing announcements in 2018 and 2019.
I know of one town, where an early 90s non-updated W-D Marketplace was across the street from a Sweetbay (former Kash N Karry). Both operated as W-D for a while before the Sweetbay won out. Probably because it had been updated much more recently in the mid 2000s.

In another town, the Sweetbay and W-D were on opposite sides of town. Both did operate as W-D for a while but the FTC ruled that Winn Dixie could not operate two stores in that town because it would create a monopoly (no stores there other than Walmart and Save A Lot). Interestingly, the former Sweetbay store ended up being the one to close and was being operated by a small grocery chain for about a year. Then it closed, W-D renovated and moved back into the Sweetbay and closed their existing store.

And also somewhat interesting, the existing W-D was originally a 1996 era Marketplace. But it was damaged in Hurricane Charley, and was remodeled with a very rare decor. Which W-D used in the very few new stores they opened after the Marketplace era ended about 2000-01 but before their bankruptcy in 2005. And this store in itself was the only non-new build store to get this decor, and probably the last since it reopened fall of 2005. It would be 2008 before W-D remodeled any stores again, to my knowledge.

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Re: Southeastern Grocers: 2019

Post by Knight » July 17th, 2019, 5:20 am

wnetmacman wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 3:51 pm
Knight wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 11:29 am
I did not include Louisiana as WInn-Dixie continues to participate at the present. I focused on states where Winn-Dixie exited.
For all practical purposes, Winn Dixie has exited 80% of Louisiana. They are no longer in Houma, Lafayette, Alexandria, and any other town that had stores west of the Mississippi River. Only 7 stores exist on the Westbank area of New Orleans, and only 26 remain open in the whole state. The New Orleans division operated over 150 stores at its height, stretching as far west as Lake Charles, and north to Natchitoches, Winnsboro and Ferriday in Louisiana, and over most of Mississippi.
I forgot to include states where Winn-Dixie exited: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio are dominated by Kroger. Acquiring regional chain Thriftway in the 1990's did not help Winn-Dixie.
Texas was a victim of absolute neglect. While WD attempted to purchase or replace aging stores, at the end of their time in Texas the average store there was over 20 years, and most hadn't been remodeled in at least 10. Because of the conditions in most, a good deal of these stores didn't sell to other grocers upon the division's closure, and the few that did mostly aren't supermarkets now. About the only operator that has kept a few is Brookshire Grocery Company, and even a good deal of theirs have closed too.
WInn-Dixie does not have enough stores in Louisiana and Mississippi to remain relevant in those markets.

Mentioning Brookshire's, an acquired Winn-Dixie store in Denton, Louisiana, from 2002 is closing.

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