Tenn. Supermarket Chain Purchases 10 Ky. Winn-Dixie Stores

UNION CITY, Tenn. - E.W. James & Sons Supermarkets, based here, has bought 10 Winn-Dixie stores in Kentucky.

The purchase covered three Winn-Dixie units in Lexington, one in Richmond, and locations in Bowling Green, Glasgow, Hopkinsville, Leitchfield, Princeton, and Elizabethtown. The company did not reveal the price it paid for the stores. Executives were not available for further comment yesterday.

The locations will not close down while they're being converted to the E.W. James & Sons Supermarkets banner, according to the company, which plans to finish the conversions by Dec. 31 without forcing holiday shoppers to go elsewhere.

In a statement released to a local newspaper, E.W. James & Sons c.e.o. David James said: "We believe customers are far more inconvenienced by a closed store than one that remains open while going through a carefully planned remodel."

The company said it was eager to retain as many former Winn-Dixie employees from the stores as possible, according to local press reports.

Prior to purchasing the 10 Winn-Dixies, the privately owned, family-run E.W. James & Sons owned approximately 25 stores in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The majority operated under the E.W. James & Sons banner, but six were Save-A-Lot stores.

In April Winn-Dixie, which has faced financial woes of late, said that it would close or sell its 156 supermarkets in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia. According to the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company, its aim is to concentrate on the eight Southern states where it has 922 stores.
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