JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Winn-Dixie Stores here is considering several supply alternatives for the Thriftway stores it is acquiring in Cincinnati, including self-supply, using a local wholesaler or a combination of both, SN has learned.
The 25 stores are currently being served by Super Food Services, Miamisburg, Ohio. They generate annual volume estimated at $400 million to $450 million.
As reported, Winn-Dixie reached an agreement last month with Cincinnati-based Thriftway to acquire the food and drug retailer's 25-store operation in a stock transaction observers said is valued between $150 million and $200 million.
Jack Twyman, chairman and chief executive officer of Super Foods, said Thriftway is one of his company's major accounts. But he also said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on what Winn-Dixie may do once it takes the stores over.
Mickey Clerc, the chain's vice president and director of public relations, said Winn-Dixie wants "as little change in the Thriftway operation as possible, and using an outside wholesaler is one of the things we will be looking at.
"But it's too early to determine how that [supply situation] will be handled. We're looking at all options, but it's too early to give a definitive answer about what we're going to do," Clerc said.
Once the transaction is concluded, the 25 Thriftway stores would become part of Winn-Dixie's 60-unit Louisville group under the overview of Dan Lafever, division president, Clerc said. However, Winn-Dixie would retain Thriftway's retail executive staff, he added.
Clerc said Winn-Dixie also intends to retain the Thriftway name on the stores. "Thriftway is a very successful operation in Cincinnati, and of course we recognize that and we would like to continue to operate the same way at this time."
It would mark the first time in 19 years that Winn-Dixie has operated stores under another name. The last time, according to Clerc, was when the chain acquired 135 Buddies stores from Kimbel Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, in 1976.