Winn-Dixie continued its reopening of sites acquired from bankrupt rivals earlier this year, opening new units in Lake Mary and West Melbourne, Fla., at sites that formerly were Lucky’s Market locations.
The units each opened Dec. 9 and follow adjustments from Winn-Dixie’s typical model that account for tighter-than-typical footprints that debuted when four previous units in Florida that were former Lucky’s or Earth Fare models opened as Winn-Dixie stores in Boynton Beach, Gainesville, Jacksonville and Lakewood Ranch, Fla., last month. The locations also retain some elements unique to Lucky’s, including in-store taprooms and prepared food kitchens popular with shoppers.
Both Lucky’s and Earth Fare separately declared bankruptcy early this year, selling their stores to a variety of competitors.
The Lake Mary store at 29,000 square feet is located in the Griffin Farm shopping plaza at 211 Wheelhouse Lane. It’s opening included support for the city’s annual holiday toy drive with a $1,000 donation for needed food and more than $1,000 in toys to help spread holiday cheer to the students of Lake Mary Elementary School and Crystal Lake Elementary School.
The checkout area in the Lake Mary store.
New and renovated stores have become something of a core competency of Winn-Dixie parent Southeastern Grocers, Jacksonville, Fla., which is seeking a public stock offering based in part on its success over a lengthy turnaround and the opportunity to add to its footprint in Florida. Winn-Dixie’s expansion includes a new store opening in Fort Myers, Fla., on Dec. 16 and Viera, Fla., in early 2021.
Winn-Dixie’s Taproom (Lake Mary pictured here) adapts the “sip and stroll” concept made popular at Lucky’s. The bar offers eight different kinds of beer, including regional favorites such as Darwin Brewing Co.’s Leatherback Lager and Reef Revival IPA, along with 11 fine wines and specialty hot and iced coffee varieties to “sip and shop” through the store.
An adjoining kitchen and deli departments at Lake Mary offer a vast assortment of specialty cheeses featuring a cheese of the month, convenient grab-and-go meal options, including take-and-bake pizzas, fresh sushi, a sandwich station and chef-prepared plant-based proteins made in-store. Hand-carved meats, including pork loin, Certified Angus roast beef, oven roasted turkey breast and roasted eye round are available.
The West Melbourne location at 3170 W. New Haven Ave. is about 36,000 square feet. Southeastern donated a combined $2,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to support the organization’s efforts to combat food insecurity in the Lake Mary and West Melbourne communities. The Melbourne unit also made a $1,000 donation to The Children’s Hunger Project to fuel its Backpack Program, which provides weekend meals to fight childhood hunger and malnutrition during the school year.