|A former Sweetbay store getting its new Winn-Dixie signage at a store in Bradenton. Photo from the Bradenton Herald.|
The Albertsons Florida Blog has been following the Sweetbay to Winn-Dixie conversions for a while now, so here's yet another update. Late last week the first round of Sweetbay stores to be converted to Winn-Dixie opened their doors. I stumbled on an interesting article from the Bradenton Herald about the conversions. According to the article, Winn-Dixie has promised not to change the former Sweetbay stores around very much, saying they would keep practically the same layout at the Sweetbay stores, and even most of Sweetbay's original decor and the same employees as a way to keep former Sweetbay shoppers happy, hoping that they'll now do their shopping with Winn-Dixie.
This article really gives a really good description of how Winn-Dixie is going to tackle the rest of these conversions, which was one of the things that I've been wondering about ever since news of the takeover was first released. I really hope these conversions go over well, because it could possibly bring Winn-Dixie the boost they've been waiting almost a decade for. Winn-Dixie hasn't opened this many new stores in Florida since before the bankruptcy, and I think they've only opened a handful of new stores in Florida since officially emerging from bankruptcy (the Winn-Dixie in Margate, Broward County is the only new post-bankruptcy store I can think of right now, opening in 2010 as the first new Winn-Dixie in Florida since 2004, but that's not counting stores that were extensively remodeled/rebuilt or stores that Winn-Dixie closed but later changed their mind and reopened).
Also, the Sweetbay name will officially become history on April 18, 2014, bringing Sweetbay's short 10 year life to an end. Also, the end of Sweetbay will bring 67 years of Florida supermarket history, under the names Big Barn, Tampa Wholesale, and Kash n' Karry (along with Sweetbay), to an end.
If you want to read the article in the Bradenton Herald that I mentioned earlier (which also includes a photo gallery of 14th Street store in Bradenton), click here. To see the official schedule of when all of the new Winn-Dixie stores open, click here. With that being said, I will leave you with this video from WTSP news in Tampa that also features some really good views of the 14th Street Winn-Dixie in Bradenton, with most of it's Sweetbay interior still in tact:
So until next time,
The Albertsons Florida Blogger
P.S. - There's going to be some Albertsons memorabilia going up tomorrow! Be sure to check it out!