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Making ‘fresh & local’ a reality

BY Jim Frederick

COVINGTON, La. — 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 $5 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.

For photos, click here.

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Report: Convenience store answers call to craft beer with tastings

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE — A lot of convenience stores sell beer, but one in Seattle has found an interesting way to draw customers with quaffable brews, according to a published report.

In a first-person article, Seattle Times reporter Tan Vinh wrote Tuesday that Super Deli Mart is hosting craft beer tastings, featuring pints for $3 and growler refills for $10, which customers can fill at in-store taps. The store also features “brewery of the week” events in which brewers sign bottles for customers.

Perhaps it’s a sign that tastes in a country better known for cheap, mass-produced lagers are changing. On the other side of the country, New York retail pharmacy chain Duane Reade recently opened its second location to feature beer taps where customers can fill their growlers.

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Kashi heating up frozen food aisle

BY Allison Cerra

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Kashi has added an entree and pizza to its line of all-natural frozen foods.

The new spicy black bean enchilada single-serve entree features red skin potatoes, roasted red peppers, corn and spinach, all wrapped in a seven whole grain and corn tortilla, which is topped with a vibrant tomatillo, cilantro and jalapeno salsa. The entree also includes a side of Kashi seven whole grain pilaf. The entree will retail for $4.09, the company said.

Kashi also launched its basil pesto pizza, which layers a savory basil pesto sauce with sweet roma tomatoes, caramelized onions, mozzarella and feta cheese on a wood-fired thin and crispy crust made with Kashi’s signature seven whole grains and sesame, the company said. Kashi’s basil pesto pizza will retail for $5.99.

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