Southeastern Grocers has revealed plans to covert eight stores in Florida it acquired from bankrupt competitors Lucky’s Market and Earth Fare, saying the units would all reopen under its Winn-Dixie banner before the end of the year.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern acquired the units in separate bankruptcy auctions earlier this year. Lucky’s and Earth Fare—each upstart natural food brands—declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy within weeks of one another in late January and early February, respectively.
“At Southeastern Grocers, we are committed to supporting, enriching and growing the communities we serve. Winn-Dixie is deeply rooted in Florida, and we are proud to expand our footprint and enhance our presence throughout the state,” Southeastern CEO Anthony Hucker said in a statement. “In addition to our new store that we opened earlier this year, we look forward to introducing eight more new appealing stores with fresh, quality products at the right price to deliver a shopping experience our associates, customers and communities can always count on.”
The company said the converted units would be remodeled with a “specialized approach” to provide a wide product selection and additional jobs and opportunities for community members. All eight locations are projected to have grand opening dates this year.
The coming locations include former Lucky’s stores in Fort Meyers, Gainesville, Lake Mary and Melbourne, Fla., and Earth Fare locations in Boynton Beach, Jacksonville, Lakewood Ranch and Viera, Fla.
Winn Dixie said it would offer positions to Lucky’s Market and Earth Fare associates impacted by the acquisition as well as any individuals committed to providing customers with quality service.
The opening of the eight new store locations follows the February opening of a new Winn-Dixie store in the Brentwood community in Jacksonville, which it said came in response to a community plea to combat an impending food desert in the area with the closing of a rival Publix store.
Separately Schnuck Markets last week said it would convert an acquired Lucky's store to a new natural foods banner to be known as EatWell. In the meantime, some former Earth Fare executives have teamed to relaunch that brand with a handful of acquired sites.