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Sunday, Nov 23, 2014
Business News

Mullins: Winn-Dixie openings are upon us

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There’s a new grocery store coming to Swann Avenue in Tampa, but it’s not the one everyone is talking about.

Nope, not the new Trader Joe’s at 3808 W. Swann Avenue. That store opened Friday. If you saw hordes of cars and people, they were probably crowding around Trader Joe’s.

The store I’m talking about is Winn-Dixie. The also-ran grocery chain in the battle between Publix and Wal-Mart has absorbed the awesome-yet-too-small-to-prosper Sweetbay Supermarkets. This means a slew of remaining Sweetbays that haven’t closed will soon go through an awkward transformation into Winn-Dixie stores. That includes the Sweetbay at 2100 W. Swann Ave. in Hyde Park — that most picturesque of affluent neighborhoods in town. It will close April 5 and reopen on April 11 as a Winn-Dixie.

I’m dying to see how that goes.

While Sweetbay built its brand around freshness and bright, clean, airy stores, Winn-Dixie fans (and I swear I’ve met one before) say Winn-Dixie has great deals on meat. It will be interesting to see how Tampa in general reacts to Winn-Dixie’s particular pricing strategy. Prices start off relatively high compared to other stores, but if you sign up for a discount card, you can bring your total back down. Hyde Park isn’t known as a center of bargain hunting, and there’s an upscale Fresh Market store just a few blocks away that does just fine. We’ll see how the neighborhood responds to Winn-Dixie.

The schedule isn’t finalized for all 160 or so Sweetbay sites yet, but the parent company of Winn-Dixie (Bi-Lo Holdings) is starting to roll out the first few phases and addresses. Transformations like that don’t happen overnight, but they will happen over a week.

Here’s a list of local stores in the first phase. They’ll close on Saturday as Sweetbays and reopen a week later on April 4 as Winn-Dixies.

♦ 10579 Big Bend Rd., Riverview

♦ 6929 U.S. 301, Riverview

♦ 16751 FishHawk Blvd., Lithia

♦ 2535 S.R. 60 E., Valrico

♦ 205 W. Alexander St., Plant City

♦ 10202 Seminole Blvd., Seminole

♦ 6851 Gulfport Blvd., South Pasadena

♦ 2139 34th St. N., St. Petersburg

♦ 3250 U.S. 27 S., Sebring

♦ 7625 Blind Pass Rd., St. Petersburg

♦ 515 Seventh St., Palmetto

♦ 5805 Manatee Ave., Bradenton

♦ 252 Harbor Village Lane, Apollo Beach

♦ 1023 North Tamiami Trail, Ruskin

♦ 7491 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg

♦ 3327 9th St. N., St. Petersburg

♦ 11230 Martin Luther King Blvd., Seffner

Here’s the next phase list. They close on April 5 as Sweetbays and reopen on April 11 as Winn-Dixies:

♦ 805 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Tampa

♦ 2100 W. Swann Ave., Tampa

♦ 4056 N.Armenia Ave., Tampa

♦ 7095 W. Waters Ave., Tampa

♦ 13508 N. Florida Ave., Tampa

♦ 13016 Race Track Rd., Tampa

♦ 750 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Seffner

♦ 2770 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa

♦ 17649 Gunn Highway, Odessa

♦ 8837 N. 56th St., Temple Terrace

♦ 15692 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa

♦ 6425 E.County Line Rd., Tampa

♦ 27301 S.R. 54, Wesley Chapel

♦ 38901 S.R. 54 E., Zephyrhills

♦ 1519 U.S. 27 S., Lake Placid

♦ 2525 N.Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa

♦ 8775 Temple Terrace Highway, Tampa

♦ 11352 N.Williams St., Dunnellon

rmullins@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7919

Twitter: @DailyDeadline

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