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Winn-Dixie Names Senior Vice President of Merchandising

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tom Robbins is joining Winn-Dixie as new s.v.p. of merchandising effective March 28, reporting directly to president and c.e.o. Peter Lynch.

Robbins is a 37-year veteran of the supermarket industry with experience at The Kroger Co., Price Chopper, A&P Tea, Thriftway Food & Drug and Delchamps, Inc.

"Tom's extensive industry experience, proven leadership, and ability to drive profitable sales will be a strong asset to our team, particularly during our reorganization," said Lynch. "A strong and well-seasoned merchant leading Winn-Dixie's turnaround plan is critical as we work our way through Chapter 11. We are fortunate to have Tom on our team."

Throughout his career, Robbins has held top sales and merchandising positions, most recently serving as e.v.p. of sales and marketing for Price Chopper. In his six years there, Robbins was responsible for all functions of the sales department, merchandising, marketing, procurement, consumer affairs, and advertising, including being responsible for the departments' revenue. He initiated the development of sales and marketing programs, resulting in five consecutive years of record sales growth.

Robbins began his retail career at Kroger, progressing through the ranks in various positions, including store manager and associate grocery sales manager. He then went to work for A&P, ending up as group v.p. of merchandising for the chain's Midwest division. He then joined Thriftway Food & Drug for 14 years, serving ultimately as s.v.p., store operations/administrative departments. Later, as s.v.p. of sales and marketing at Delchamps, he played a significant role in the turnaround of the regional supermarket chain. Robbins's efforts helped to reposition Delchamps as a profitable, respected and growing company.

Dick Judd, who has been serving at Winn-Dixie for nearly two years as s.v.p. of supply chain and merchandising, will now focus completely on supply chain management, which includes logistics, distribution and manufacturing, the company said.

In other news, the embattled retailer is seeking to unload its corporate jet to a Virginia hotel real estate company for about $15 million help in an effort to bolster its bottom line amid bankruptcy proceedings, according to press reports.

Winn-Dixie said in a court filing it had been attempting to sell the 11-passenger aircraft since October; a bankruptcy judge will consider the proposal at a hearing on March 30.
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