- Southeastern Grocers is continuing to convert Florida Winn-Dixie markets to its value brand Harveys. Interim CEO Anthony Hucker announced the company was opening seven new Harveys in Florida on Tuesday, according to the Daily Record.
- In 2013, Southeastern Grocers LLC, then Bi-Lo Holdings, purchased Harveys. In November 2016, 55 new Harveys were opened in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. These new openings will boost the total number of Harveys to 77.
- Harveys differs Winn-Dixie in its focus on values and savings. The new Harveys will include a “$1 Zone” with more than 1,200 items, extended discounts on frequently purchased items called “Low and Staying Low,” and a “Pick 5 for $19.95” offer in various meat selections.
The conversions from more affluent brand Winn-Dixie to value brand Harveys signals a hint of trouble for Winn-Dixie. Consumers, specifically millennials, want greater value when they’re grocery shopping, so it makes sense they would be drawn to the deals at Harveys.
Competitors are busy updating and remodeling locations, but their focus is broader.
Fellow discount retailer Aldi announced plans to remodel 1,300 stores with a focus on expanded produce and more organic options throughout the store. This comes as European hard discounter Lidl has opened a total of to 21 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia this summer. The German discount newcomer to the U.S. market focuses on store brands, plentiful fresh food options and a unique in-store experience.
So far, the strategy to convert existing Winn-Dixie stores to Harvey seems to be a success. In interviews, Hucker wouldn’t offer any firm numbers for how many other Winn-Dixie stores are slated for conversion. However, he told reporters, “We wouldn’t be doing this if our customers weren’t telling us this is what we want.”
Southeastern Grocers conversions aren’t solely focused on Harveys, either. In South Florida, it has swapped out some Winn-Dixie stores to become Fresco y Mas markets. The Fresco y Mas brand caters to Hispanic shoppers, and currently has 18 stores.
While the conversions appear to be a success warranting further investment, they do have the potential to alienate loyal Winn-Dixie shoppers. Shopping at Harveys offers a different experience than shopping at Winn-Dixie. If a consumer doesn’t like the new experience, they would likely go to competitors to find something familiar.
Conversely, consumers who felt their dollar didn’t go very far at Winn-Dixie may become frequent shoppers at the updated Harveys.