07/25/05 — Southern Family Markets purchases Winn-Dixie store

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Southern Family Markets purchases Winn-Dixie store

By Turner Walston
Published in News on July 25, 2005 1:48 PM

A new player has entered the grocery game in Wayne County. Southern Family Markets has purchased seven former Winn-Dixie stores, including the one on Wayne Memorial Drive in Goldsboro. The company will take over operations at the store at the end of August.

Southern Family Markets is a subsidiary affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers, which operates its retail division out of Birmingham, Ala.

Chief Operating Officer Frank Curci said the company entered a bid on the store along with BI-LO, another grocery chain.

"We and BI-LO submitted a bid together for a number of Winn-Dixie stores. There were 21 altogether," he said. "It may have looked as if BI-LO was just buying all the stores, but this was always one in our marketplace."

Bids have been made on the other two Winn-Dixie stores in Wayne County, at Ashley Plaza on Berkeley Boulevard and at the Neuse River Shopping Center, but the names of the companies have not been released.

Winn-Dixie is selling hundreds of its stores, including all in North Carolina, as part of a bankruptcy consolidation.

Curci said customers will see few changes at the Wayne Memorial Drive store, at least in the near future.

"What we're going to do in the beginning, is we're just going to take over the Winn-Dixie," he said. "We're going to try and hire as many of the Winn-Dixie employees as possible."

"Our target customers are families. Our desire is to make their shopping trip a pleasurable one. Physically to the store, aside from the change of the name and the core, it'll take us some time to change the layout."

Southern Family Markets plans to operate 18 stores in North Carolina, Curci said, and the Goldsboro location will be the first to open. The company also bought Winn-Dixie stores in the Fayetteville and Greensboro areas.

"We're real excited about the marketplace," Curci said. He pointed out that the Wayne Memorial Drive store his company purchased had done good business in the past.

"It was a fairly successful one, and we're excited about having it as part of our company. We should be up and running for Labor Day sales."