Aldi, a German supermarket operator famed for affordable food, is acquiring 400 Southeast grocery shop sites.
Winn-Dixie, a struggling grocery chain based in Jacksonville, Florida, was acquired by the business on Wednesday. The agreement includes shops in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
The whole transaction with Winn-Dixie should close in early 2024, bringing Aldi's U.S. store count to over 2,700.
Aldi opened their Southeast store in the 1990s. Over the past three decades, the brand has opened over 340 Gulf Coast locations.
It launched its sixth southern headquarters in Loxley, Alabama, in January 2023 to support 100 stores throughout Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida panhandle.
Aldi CEO says properties are being reviewed for conversion to "the Aldi format to better support the neighborhoods we'll now have the privilege of serving," and those that aren't will remain Winn-Dixie stores.
Winn-Dixie has a troubled past, and this buyout isn't the first. The original store opened in 1925 and moved to Jacksonville, Florida, in 1939.
Harveys groceries opened in 1924 and is currently a subsidiary of Southeastern Grocers. When Southeastern Grocers was Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie was acquired in 2012.
In 2002, Winn-Dixie closed all Texas and Oklahoma shops. In 2004, the company closed all Midwest locations and 45 others, and sold 10 stores to Food Lion by year's end.
The brand was fully sold to Bi-Lo, now Southeastern Grocers, in 2012. In February 2018, Southeastern Grocers closed 200 locations; by March, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed 94 more stores.
In 2023, it will sell 400 stores to Aldi, which prioritizes a lean operating strategy. Maybe this time, it'll stick.