93 years of Winn-Dixie

A look at the architectural evolution of Florida's first industrial corporation and retail chain to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.

Winn & Lovett became the first Florida industrial corporation to gain a listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 1952. A year later, the company opened a new distribution hub on the Westside of Jacksonville at 5050 Edgewood Court. In 1955, a merger with Dixie Home Stores of Greenville, SC led to the chain’s name being changed to Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. During this era, a major trend was new stores being located in strip shopping centers as opposed to being stand alone locations.

2624 Atlantic Boulevard was an early Winn-Dixie location that opened in St. Nicholas Town Center in 1955.

4472 Hendricks Avenue was a store that opened near Hendricks Avenue and Emerson Street in 1951.

29 Arlington Road South opened as a 23,843 square foot space in 1953 near Glynlea.

In 1953, a 24,158 square foot store opened in Town & Country Shopping Center in Arlington at 965 University Boulevard.

In 1957, a larger 27,784 square foot Winn-Dixie opened in St. Nicholas’ Southgate Plaza at 3556 Beach Boulevard.

Gateway Shopping Center opened as one of Jacksonville’s first regional shopping malls in 1959. One of the shopping center’s original anchors was a Winn-Dixie at 5564 Norwood.

By the 1960s, Winn-Dixie had become the most profitable company in the grocery industry. Stores built during the 1960s were significantly larger than the Lovett’s stores that became early Winn-Dixie locations. In 1961, Winn-Dixie opened a 22,836 square foot location in Arlington’s Lake Lucina Shopping Center at 6014 Merrill Road. In recent years, discount grocer Sav-a-Lot has opened stores in several former Winn-Dixie locations.

9731 Beach Boulevard was the location of a store that opened in 1962.

In 1965, Winn-Dixie opened a 27,757 square foot store at 8040 Lone Star Road in Arlington’s Alderman Park neighborhood.

In 1968, a 26,480 square foot store opened at 1410 Edgewood, replacing a smaller store a few blocks away on Lem Turner Road that was originally a Lovett’s.

This Sav-a-Lot location was originally a Winn-Dixie when it opened in 1969 at 10690 Lem Turner in Garden City.

In 1978, Winn-Dixie opened a store in Beauclerc Village shopping center at the intersection of San Jose Boulevard and Old St. Augustine Road. In 2015, Sav-a-Lot moved into a portion of the former store.

752 Cassat Avenue opened in 1979 as an 32,208 square foot store near Murray Hill. It has since been replaced by a larger store at the nearby Normandy Mall.

Winn-Dixie opened a 19,839 square foot store at 2415 East Colonial Drive in Orlando in 1979. This store closed in 2014. This location was recently taken over by iFresh, a leading Asian American grocery supermarket chain and online grocer.

During the 1980s, the company continued its focus on replacing older, smaller locations with larger supermarket formats. In 1984, it introduced the Marketplace format, which included pharmacies and photofinishing in stores that were 44,000 square feet and larger. By 1989, the average store size had increased to 30,000 square feet. In Glynlea, a 46,222 square foot store was built in 1988 at 49 Arlington Road South. This store replaced an older location next door at 29 Arlington Road South. In 2017, this Winn-Dixie was rebranded into a Harvey’s Supermarket.

A store in Lakewood that originally opened in 1959 was replaced by a 47,786 square foot Marketplace store in 1995. By 1996, there were 504 Marketplaces compared to 634 regular Winn-Dixie’s in the chain.

In 1999, 5647 Roosevelt Boulevard replaced an older location next door. Still in operation today, this store is 50,974 square feet.

In 2012, Winn-Dixie was acquired by Greenville, SC-based BI-LO Holdings in a merger that saw Jacksonville remain the combined chain’s headquarters. In 2015, BI-LO Holdings changed their name to Southeastern Grocers with Winn-Dixie being a wholly owned subsidiary.

In 2016, Winn-Dixie opened its first “Next Generation Store” 10915 Baymeadows Road. With a focus on quality food, serving with personality and great value, this store has been tailored to the Baymeadows community. Sourcing from over 50 Florida farms, the store features quality produce displayed on ice, to maintain freshness and expanded varieties, including prickly pears, lychees and dragon fruit, and over 100 fresh, organic items.

It also offers over 4,000 natural and organic products and hosts the brand new, health food store-within-a-store called Naturally Better as well. In addition, the Kitchen offers customers an in-house, stone hearth pizza oven and smokehouse. Brisket and pulled pork will be slow cooked in house for 10 - 12 hours, and Winn-Dixie chefs are making a signature pizza sauce and marinades from scratch.

There’s also Café where customers can pick up a hot brew of steaming coffee. With a trained barista on the team and coffee beans roasted on-site, customers can order a latte, cappuccino, espresso or cup of “Joe” and either sit and enjoy at the café style seating or conveniently place in their shopping cart’s cup holder – to sip their way down the aisles.</i>

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Davis is a certified senior planner and graduate of Florida A&M University. He is the author of the award winning books “Reclaiming Jacksonville,” “Cohen Brothers: The Big Store” and “Images of Modern America: Jacksonville.” Davis has served with various organizations committed to improving urban communities, including the American Planning Association and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. A 2013 Next City Vanguard, Davis is the co-founder of Metro Jacksonville.com and ModernCities.com — two websites dedicated to promoting fiscally sustainable communities — and Transform Jax, a tactical urbanist group. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com