Winn-Dixie makes 'fresh & local' a reality

Winn-Dixie’s chairman, president and CEO, Peter Lynch, calls them “state of the art.” The company’s VP pharmacy, John Fegan, calls them “transformational.” They’re talking about the Jacksonville, Fla.-based supermarket chain’s glitzy new prototype store, an upscale and eye-popping showcase for everything from locally sourced foods to gluten-free and specialized dietary offerings.

The new format — which debuted last year in Margate, Fla., and Covington, La., at a cost of roughly million per remodel — also features fresh-caught seafood, a deli with seating, gourmet cheese shops, garden supplies in the spring and a pharmacy with space for immunizations and private medication therapy management.

The stores have been a hit with consumers by showcasing Winn-Dixie’s “Fresh & Local” market image and expanded “fresh” departments that offer “locally grown produce and other products local to the area,” according to the company. In fiscal 2011, the chain plans to remodel 22 stores, 17 of which will closely resemble the Covington and Margate stores, and plans to open two new stores.