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Winn-Dixie Marks 60 Years in Louisiana

Winn-Dixie is observing 60 years in Louisiana with a range of celebratory activities, including the launch of the Winn-Dixie Young Talent Program with Café Reconcile, a local organization that helps young people facing tough times.

On July 28, 1956, the grocery store chain acquired several H.G. Hill stores in the Gulf Coast region of Louisiana. Six decades later, Winn-Dixie operates 47 stores employing almost 4,400 associates in the state, making it the longest-serving grocery chain in Louisiana.

Ian McLeod, president and CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers, Winn-Dixie’s parent company, noted that the chain’s employees in the state “have been dedicated to serving the people of Louisiana for decades and established our tradition as the ‘Beef People,’ a sign of quality that we hold with pride to this day.”

Added McLeod, “Not only are we continuing to invest in the renewal of our stores and lower prices, but through partnerships such as Café Reconcile, we’re investing in young talent to help us in our commitment to great Louisianan food and service for the next 60 years.”

Through the partnership, Winn-Dixie’s leaders and store teams will provide coaching and practical, hands-on training for young people interested in culinary and grocery careers.

As for its commitment to lower prices, earlier this year, Winn-Dixie rolled out Local Down Down, a program that cut prices by as much as 37 percent on more than 50 well-loved local brands, among them Community Coffee, Camellia Beans, Blue Plate Mayonnaise and Chisesi Brothers Ham, which were added to 3,000-plus long-term price reductions across the store.

To commemorate the anniversary in a more visceral way, Southeastern Grocers recreated the 1950s-era store décor of a local New Orleans Winn-Dixie of the time, at the present-day Mid-City location, which is on the same street as one of the first of the chain’s (now closed) stores in the Big Easy. Among the July 26 event’s special guests were Chef Curtis Stone, local entertainer Kermit Ruffins and Southeastern Grocers CEO Anthony Hucker. Festivities were open to the public and included a meet-and-greet and autograph signing with Stone, Young Talent Program participants and local-food sampling.

Further, on the same day, all 47 Louisiana Winn-Dixie locations marked the occasion with birthday cake offered to customers.

Winn-Dixie employs more than 40,000 associates in more than 500 grocery stores, 145 liquor stores and 390 in-store pharmacies throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

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