A fresh new focus at Winn-Dixie

APOPKA, Fla. – Winn-Dixie announced the opening of the first of several remodeled stores in Central Florida Wednesday as the company looks to reposition itself as the grocery destination in the area.

The store, located in Errol Plaza, is one of 17 planned store remodels. The company expects to invest approximately $5.5 million per store.

The remodeled store, which is the fourth of its kind for Winn-Dixie, includes many new features, most notably a farmer’s market at the front of the store and an expanded produce department with a focus on seasonal fruits and vegetables. Other features include an expanded deli department and custom sandwich/ sub shop, a wider selection of hot food, including made-to-order pastas and chicken wing bar, a broader selection of specialty desserts, pastries and made-to-order cakes in the bakery, an expanded seafood department with on-site sushi chef and a remodeled and expanded pharmacy wellness center. Winn-Dixie further enhanced the in-store experience by adding a Wi-Fi Internet café with complimentary coffee.

The store’s new features are enhanced by a new building design that includes hardwood flooring throughout the produce, deli and bakery departments, concrete floors that resemble granite in the rest of the store, modern lighting and brighter décor. 

“We are excited to deliver on our promise of providing our guests with a fresh, new shopping experience that is fun and imaginative,” said Dan Lafever, Winn-Dixie regional VP. “This store exemplifies our commitment to the residents of Apopka and serves as a one-stop grocery destination catering to the needs, tastes and preferences of the surrounding community.”

Winn-Dixie faces some stiff competition in the area from the likes of Publix, which has a strong presence in Central Florida, and Walmart, which operates several supercenters, including one located in Apopka, as well as Neighborhood Markets in the surrounding area.

Winn-Dixie is expected to report its fourth-quarter and full-year sales on Aug. 29. The company released preliminary results earlier this week, and said it expects net sales of approximately $1.6 billion, as compared to $1.7 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 (which included an extra week), reflecting a 3.2% increase in identical-store sales. Net income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 is expected to be approximately $5 million or 10 cents per diluted share, compared with net income from continuing operations of $16 million or 29 cents per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. 

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