Winn-Dixie To Shed Stores and Employees

    June 22, 2005
    Chris Crum

Winn-Dixie announced plans to cut about 22,000 jobs as it closes 36% of its stores across the U.S. and in the Bahamas in an effort to improve the company’s financial performance.

Winn-Dixie is reducing its number of stores from 913 to 587 so that it can focus on the markets where it has the strongest market share position.

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“Creating a smaller, but more profitable store base will best position Winn- Dixie for long-term financial health and a successful future,” said Winn-Dixie President and CEO Peter Lynch. “We will be focusing our resources on markets where Winn-Dixie has a strong presence and there are compelling opportunities. This will allow us to build on our strengths and take advantage of the considerable potential we see to improve the shopping experience for our customers. Already, we have made significant strides.” According to AP,

An attorney representing Winn-Dixie, Stephen Busey, said at a bankruptcy hearing last week that Winn-Dixie planned to cut 400 jobs from the 1,400 at its corporate headquarters.

Winn-Dixie, which filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 21, is No. 182 on the 2005 Fortune 500 list of the country’s largest corporations. Winn-Dixie was ranked No. 8 among 19 food and drug store companies, while Lakeland-based Publix was ranked No. 6 among supermarkets and No. 117 overall.

Lynch said that the steps that the company announced “will help us to continue our progress as we strive to make Winn-Dixie a stronger company, better able to compete in the marketplace with a strong foundation for the future.”

Winn-Dixie’s annual revenue is expected to fall from $10 billion to $7.5 billion as a result of the closing of all of these stores. Winn-Dixie plans to sell all of the stores and distribution centers that it is leaving behind. If it cannot sell all of them, the remaining ones will simply be closed.

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.