98 years of Winn-Dixie
On August 16, 2023, ALDI announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarkets as part of a larger divestiture of Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers to various entities. The acquisition includes approximately 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket locations across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Some locations could possibly be converted to the ALDI brand. With change coming to a longtime, well known name, we look back at the architectural evolution of Florida's first industrial corporation and retail chain to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Winn & Lovett warehouse at 710 Barnett Street (West Beaver Street at Barnett Street). Courtesy of State Archives of Florida
The Jacksonville chain that would become Winn-Dixie was founded by William Lovett in 1928. In 1939, Lovett convinced Table Supply to acquire 51% ownership in Winn & Lovett. Winn & Lovett’s Jacksonville stores continued to operate under the Lovett’s Groceteria moniker until being rebranded as Winn-Dixie in 1955. Early Lovett stores ranged between 5,000 and 15,000 square feet and were located in pedestrian friendly sections of the city. Although some of these early locations no longer exist, many still stand.
Now home to Load King Manufacturing, this large century-old brick warehouse at 1357 Beaver Street West was the early headquarters and distribution hub of Winn & Lovett.
Now Barrique Kitchen and Wine Bar, this 5,450 square foot building at 3563 St. Johns Avenue in Avondale was a Lovett’s. The building the store operated in was completed in 1927.
In 1945, Winn & Lovett opened a 10,319 square foot store at 105 East Monroe Street in Downtown Jacksonville. This store eventually relocated to 777 Market Street. The more central downtown location is now the Duval County Supervisor of Elections office.
*The Downtown Jacksonville store in 1951. Courtesy of State Archives of Florida*
*The Blanding Boulevard Lovett’s store location. Courtesy of State Archives of Florida.*
By the 1940s, newer Lovett’s supermarkets were designed in the Art Deco style. The average store size had also increased above 10,000 square feet. This former 15,847 square foot Springfield store opened in 1947 at 2500 Charlevoix Street.
By the 1950s, Lem Turner Road had become one of the city’s first booming commercial corridors designed for the automobile. In 1951, Winn & Lovett opened a 12,052 square foot Lovett’s at 8110 Lem Turner Road.