Renovation underway for new grocery store in area | Business Observer

LAKEWOOD RANCH — A Winn-Dixie grocery store coming to Lakewood Ranch in November will provide the chain an opportunity to “experiment” with the best ways to serve a community, according to Regional Vice President Joey Medina.

In an article in the East County Observer, sister paper of the Business Observer, he says the opportunity came about because Winn-Dixie purchased four Lucky supermarkets and four Earth Fares that had gone out of business. Since those spaces, such as the one at The Green in Lakewood Ranch, in east Manatee County, have a somewhat different footprint than many of Winn-Dixie’s stores, he says the communities they serve might find some new features they haven’t seen before in a Winn-Dixie.

The Lakewood Ranch space is undergoing a complete renovation. The former Earth Fare building is about 24,000 square feet. When complete, the store will provide 130 jobs. 

Medina says a substantial amount of customer focus groups and market research was completed on the Lakewood Ranch area to determine how the grocer could best serve the community.

“One thing we are proud of, we serve diverse communities throughout the southeast,” says Medina. “The offerings we provide reflect the needs and preferences (of that community). We are familiar with Lakewood Ranch and our clientele. We operate five stores in Manatee County, but Lakewood Ranch has been a market gap for us. We are extremely excited to get into the area.”

In Lakewood Ranch, the store will focus on providing “meal solutions and options” for busy lifestyles. Winn-Dixie’s “Meals Your Way” program will offer hot and cold meals that customers can eat on site, meals they can take and heat up, and meals they can take home to cook. The new store will also have a sub shop and an in-store sushi chef. 

When the store opens in November, the usual grand opening ceremonies will not take place due to the pandemic. 

 

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