CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Winn-Dixie Stores said last week it would enter the market here early next year with six to eight of its new Marketplace format stores.
"We believe this market provides an exciting opportunity for our company and for our customers as we continue our aggressive new-store opening and remodeling program throughout the Sunbelt," said James Kufeldt, president. He said the new stores will open "in growth areas around the perimeter of the city."
The 50,000-square-foot Marketplace format showcases Winn-Dixie's latest innovations in store design, including food courts and expanded variety.
With its entry into the Chattanooga market, Winn-Dixie will battle against Red Food Stores, a 55-store chain based here. Red Food is the dominant food retailer in this market, according to local observers, and probably has more than a 60% market share.
Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C., and Bruno's, Birmingham, Ala., also operate a few stores in the market. Bruno's stores operate under the Foodmax banner.
Red Food operates 40,000-square-foot stores and recently introduced a 50,000-square-foot supercenter format.
"Winn-Dixie will run into a test with Red Food," one observer said. Red Food is the "local guy" and has well-run stores, the observer added.