In an effort to regain market share and stay competitive in a saturated Florida grocery market, Winn-Dixie supermarkets are charting a bold course—slashing prices and making significant investments in overhauling storefronts.
The retailer began to cut costs as part of a comprehensive overhaul after hiring CEO Ian McLeod. According to local news source the Orlando Sentinel, in late 2015, Winn-Dixie stores dropped prices on 400 common items—including bread, chicken breast, and sugar. Subsequent cuts followed as the grocer attempted to win back customers.
"Ultimately the customers have a choice of where to shop," McLeod told the Sentinel. "We wanted to make sure we offered the most competitive prices, the products customers were buying on a regular basis."
So far, McLeod said, the strategy is succeeding.
Over the past few years, Central Florida’s grocery market has grown increasingly crowded. With discount brands like Aldi and niche stores like Lucky’s Market moving in, and increasingly convenient pickup and delivery services being offered by major national players like Walmart and Amazon, Winn-Dixie is in a difficult position—trying to offer a full grocery selection at discount prices.
Recently Winn-Dixie’s parent company, Southeastern Grocers, has been winnowing away some of its assets; the company has closed several drugstores in Central Florida. McLeod, though, is optimistic.
"There have been a limited number of stores that closed, but we've remodeled more stores than have actually closed," McLeod said. McLeod noted that the company has shifted focus and is now looking to grow in high-income areas. “Flagship” remodels in Tampa with bright, clean features and modern decor, and rebranded Fresco y Mas stores in South Florida promise new avenues for growth.
The future is looking bright for the Florida-based retailer. For more developments in this and other retailers’ strategies and their implications for the deli industry, stay tuned to Deli Market News.