Retailers

Louisiana Discounter Files Chapter 11

Failed Winn-Dixie conversions, debt to supplier at issue in Shoppers Value bankruptcy
Photograph courtesy of Shoppers Value

A cost-plus discount chain assembled primarily of former Winn-Dixie locations in the Deep South has filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

The group of independent retailers running affiliated discount stores under the Shoppers Value banner cited debts incurred in a 2018 acquisition and conversion of former Winn-Dixie stores in the New Orleans area.

The reorganization, which was reported first by The Advocate newspaper, was filed by J-H-J Foods and Lafayette Piggly Wiggly in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Louisiana in November and has been joined this month by additional companies also running Shoppers Value stores. The cases are being administered jointly.

The companies in court filings traced their financial issues to the 2018 acquisition of a group of Winn-Dixie stores. While Shoppers Value was hopeful the acquisition would help it establish a hold in the New Orleans area, just one of the acquired and converted stores remains open, with others closing only months after the switch.

The filing indicates assets of between $1 million and $10 million and liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million. Its largest creditors include United Natural Foods Inc., which took over financial agreements made between the retailer and legacy supplier Supervalu, as well as IberiaBank.

Shoppers Value runs stores under the cost-plus discount format, which offers shoppers all items at the cost to the grocer, plus a 10% surcharge on the basket. Shoppers Value is a national program for independent operators available through supplier Supervalu, which has grown rapidly in rural markets in recent years.

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