Will Jax-Based Winn-Dixie Change Its Name? Company Says It Has ‘No Immediate Plans’

Jun 26, 2020

Jacksonville-based supermarket chain Winn-Dixie is getting national attention due to its name. The word “Dixie” is a nickname for the Civil War-era South. 

On Thursday, TMZ reported that Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie is mulling over a name change, writing: “One of the largest supermarket chains based in the Southeast is considering dropping its name after nearly 100 years ... a move triggered by the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.”

WJCT News reached out to Winn-Dixie’s parent company, Southeastern Grocers, about the report. 

“While we have no immediate plans to rename this banner, we have always been and will continue to be responsive to the needs and concerns expressed by the communities we serve,” said Joe Caldwell, Southeastern Grocers senior manager of corporate communications. 

In the supermarket business, banner refers to the name of the brand.

Caldwell also told WJCT News: “Our Winn-Dixie banner has proudly served our communities for nearly 100 years, however, many things have changed during that time.”

Many businesses and artists have been examining their names, products and practices since a wave of protests started sweeping the country.

One of country music’s best known bands, the Dixie Chicks, announced Thursday they were changing their names to the Chicks. They follow the former Lady Antebellum - now named Lady A, NASCAR, Aunt Jemima and others are distancing their brands from names, products or traditions associated with the Confederate-era South.

Winn-Dixie got its current name after buying 117 Dixie Home supermarkets in the Carolinas in the 1950s, according to the Jacksonville Historical Society.

As part of the deal, Dixie Home leaders requested that “Dixie” be kept as part of the name.

Today, Southeastern Grocers, which is headquartered off Philips Highway near Baymeadows Road on the Southside, operates several other brands, including Harveys in the Jacksonville market. Elsewhere, it also operates BI-LO and Fresco y Más.

Winn-Dixie currently has 366 grocery stores across five states -  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. 279 of them are in Florida - with more in the works. Thirty-three are in Northeast Florida.

 

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Heather Schatz can be reached at hschatz@wjct.org or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.