Shoppers Value, a Baton Rouge-based grocery store chain, is entering the New Orleans market through a deal Thursday to purchase seven Winn-Dixie stores that includes three in Mississippi.
The price was not disclosed.
Shoppers Value plans in March to take over Winn-Dixie locations at 3001 Highway 90 W in Avondale, 1070 Westbank Expressway in Westwego, 3645 Lapalco Blvd. in Harvey and 3632 Jefferson Highway in Jefferson.
The Mississippi locations are at 801 Highway 11 South and 1701 Highway 43 North in Picayune and 170 Beacon St. in Laurel.
Danielle Satawa, chief financial officer for Shoppers Value, said the locations are a natural complement to the chain’s current footprint. Shoppers Value has 11 stores in metro Baton Rouge and Lafayette, and a store in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
“The addition of these stores brings our presence to New Orleans and expands our Mississippi markets,” she said. “This was a great opportunity for us to move into these markets.”
It will take between three to six months to renovate the stores and open them under the Shoppers Value banner, so Satawa said the process should be complete by September. The chain intends to keep all of the existing Winn-Dixie employees, she said.
This also continues a trend of Shoppers Value making a home out of former Winn-Dixie locations. Back when the company was operating as Piggly Wiggly stores, it took over old Winn-Dixies at 5355 Government St., 5963 Plank Road and 9702 Greenwell Springs Road, all in Baton Rouge, and at 280 Main St. in Baker. In 2017, Winn-Dixie sold its stores at 13555 Old Hammond Highway and 28145 Walker South Road to Shoppers Value. Both of those locations were heavily damaged by the August 2016 flood.
Shoppers Value sells items at 10 percent above what they cost the supermarket. When customers pick up items at Shoppers Value, the price on the shelf reflects what the store paid for them. Shoppers are then charged a 10 percent add-on at the cash register for each item. The company has said this allows greater savings for customers on individual items.
Bi-Lo, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, has more than $1 billion in debt following its 2005 buyout by Lone Star Funds, reported Bloomberg. Last week, Bloomberg said the chain was considering filing for bankruptcy in March and planning to shut down almost 200 stores. This would be Bi-Lo’s third bankruptcy filing since 2005.
Trey Edwards, Winn-Dixie’s regional vice president for Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, said like his chain, Shoppers Value is committed to providing real savings for customers.
“We are working together to ensure a seamless transition, and we are confident that the stores being transferred and the talented associates based in these locations are well-positioned for success as they continue bringing value to customers,” he said in a statement.