TAMPA, Fla. — Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, announced Thursday it will close 94 stores in seven states, including 10 in the Tampa Bay area.
- Winn-Dixie 6180 Us Highway 41 N., Apollo Beach
- Winn-Dixie 3500 53Rd Ave. West, Bradenton FL
- Winn-Dixie 2126 Collier Parkway, Land O' Lakes FL
- Winn-Dixie 7625 Blind Pass Road, Saint Petersburg FL
- Winn-Dixie 3301 17Th Street, Sarasota FL
- Winn-Dixie 1325 S. Tamimi Trail, Sarasota FL 2
- Winn-Dixie 2881 Clark Road, Sarasota FL
- Harveys 2525 E. Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa FL
- Winn-Dixie 2525 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa FL
- Winn-Dixie 4317 Gandy Blvd., Tampa FL
The company plans to file for bankruptcy by the end of March, implementing a court-supervised debt restructuring agreement.
The company released the following statement:
"After careful consideration, we have chosen to voluntarily implement a court-supervised, prepackaged restructuring agreement. We have not taken these steps without careful planning and consideration. As part of this restructuring, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close 94 underperforming stores. It is our goal to work through our financial restructuring as quickly and efficiently as possible, and we will emerge from this process likely within the next 90 days.
We will continue to thrive with 582 successful stores in operation and will continue to deliver a store experience our associates, customers and communities can count on."
Erica Hart tells ABC Action News, she relies on shopping at the Winn-Dixie on North Dale Mabry in Tampa for affordable, fresh food.
"That's really sad to hear because there's not another grocery store really close," said Hart.
The closures also impact Harveys Supermarket, located at 2525 E. Hillsborough Ave.
Harry Dale says Harveys the only nearby option he can walk to purchase groceries and his father's medication.
"It's going to be a little bit more of a pain," said Dale.
A map provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows the area directly north of Harveys is considered a food desert. It's a low-income population living more than a half-mile from the nearest supermarket.
Harveys serves an area where people do not have access to reliable transportation.
"Inconveniencing me right now, I just found this out is shocking," said Abrianna Rahmings.
The company states closing 94 stores will help reduce its debt by $500 million.
Shoppers say that's little comfort to the employees whose days working are now numbered.
"It's going to be devastating for them to have to change their whole life around in 90 days, it's going to be devastating," said Rahmings.
A corporate spokesman could not say exactly how many jobs this closures will impact in Tampa Bay. The company will look to transfer some employees to stores that will remain open.
Staff at each store closing will inform pharmacy customers where their accounts will be transferred to.