BI-LO and Winn Dixie announced that Jacksonville will serve as the location for its combined company headquarters, resulting in approximately 900 jobs retained, 100 new high-wage jobs created over time and an approximate $93 million capital investment.
“This is welcome news for Florida as well as Jacksonville,” said Governor Scott. “BI-LO and Winn-Dixie’s choice of Jacksonville as a prime base for its operations shows that Florida has a business climate and resources that can help companies grow and boost their productivity.”
State and local leaders collaborated to ensure the retention and creation of jobs. The company qualified for $1.04 million through Florida’s Quick Response Training program, which supports business expansion efforts. The funds will be used toward training costs for existing and new employees. A state Quick Action Closing Fund incentive of $3.6 million will offset costs associated with relocation expenses and equipment purchases.
“As a native of Jacksonville, I consider this a personal victory for our hometown and one of our staple business enterprises, Winn-Dixie,” said Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll. “The combined company surely will bring more opportunity and service to our citizens, its customers and the local economy.
“With this exciting merger now complete, we can begin delivering on the benefits and opportunities of the combination to our customers and team members,” said Randall Onstead, CEO and president of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie. “Jacksonville is centrally located within our eight-state operating area, with an existing infrastructure that is best positioned to host the combined BI-LO and Winn-Dixie support center, corporate office and distribution facilities. We look forward to being a contributor to the community, while also maintaining a support presence in Greenville, South Carolina.”
On the local level, the City of Jacksonville proposes to return 50 percent of the new taxes the company will pay, not to exceed $2 million during a 10 year period.
“This is an announcement our entire community is celebrating,” said Mayor Brown. “Winn-Dixie has a long history in Jacksonville. We are excited the company has chosen to not only remain a major part of our city and region but also to grow in the months and years ahead.”
Together, Winn-Dixie and BI-LO currently operate 688 grocery stores in eight states, employing 63,000 people. BI-LO has stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Winn-Dixie has stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.
“We congratulate Gov. Scott and the community on this accomplishment and welcome Randall and BI-LO to the JAX region,” said Robert Hill, chair of JAXUSA Partnership who is also president and CEO of Acosta Inc. “This is a great day for Jacksonville as the company’s combined headquarters joins our community and creates significant new capital investment and jobs. We look forward to BI-LO and Winn-Dixie’s continued growth and success.”
Jacksonville has been home to the formerly Winn-Dixie headquarters since 1939 after the company, known at the time as Winn & Lovett Grocery Co., relocated its headquarters to Jacksonville. Last year, BI-LO LLC, the grocery store based in Greenville, S.C. agreed to purchase Winn-Dixie.