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For shoppers in the Southeast, things are really heating up in the battle for your grocery dollars. Aldi announced in August that they will acquire more than 400 Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarkets early next year. And as part of the deal, many Winn-Dixie and Harveys locations will get converted into Aldi stores once the deal is finalized in mid-2024.
But changes are already afoot, as we just got word that all Winn-Dixie pharmacy locations will close by the end of 2023.
What else does the Aldi acquisition mean for you as a shopper? (Spoiler alert: It’s kind of a “wait and see” situation, at least on the couponing front.) But more importantly, how do shoppers — and couponers — feel about it? Let’s dissect.
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1. Aldi will acquire all Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarkets by mid-2024.
Both Aldi and Southeastern Grocers (the parent company to Winn-Dixie, Harveys, and Fresco y Más) made their respective announcements on Aug. 16, 2023, that a deal was in the works for Aldi to purchase both the Winn-Dixie and Harveys brands. Fresco y Más, on the other hand, will spin off into its own company.
With the deal, Aldi will get 400 stores in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida (aka all of the states where Winn-Dixie operates). This is in addition to the 120 new Aldi stores that Aldi already plans to open by the end of 2023.
2. Some Winn-Dixie and Harveys locations will get converted into Aldi stores after the deal goes through.
So what does Aldi buying Winn-Dixie mean? According to the press release, Aldi will “evaluate which locations will convert to the Aldi format.” So not all of the current Winn-Dixie and Harveys stores will be changing to Aldis.
“For those stores we do not convert, our intention is that these continue to operate as Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores,” said Aldi CEO Jason Hart in the Aug. 16 press release.
But with Aldi running things behind the scenes (and having a larger share of the grocery market), we hope to see them continue to drive prices lower. (It’s no secret that we love Aldi prices because they’re crazy-low.)
3. But all Winn-Dixie pharmacies will close by the end of 2023 (at the latest).
With the current acquisition deal, Aldi chose not to purchase any of the in-store Winn-Dixie pharmacy locations from Southeastern Grocers. So that means the Winn-Dixie Pharmacy as a whole will be phased out by the end of 2023, including the vaccination, prescription, and COVID-19 testing services.
“Southeastern Grocers has entered into agreements to transfer prescription files to certain CVS Pharmacies and Walgreens,” said Meredith Hurley, Senior Director of Communications and Community for Southeastern Grocers in an emailed statement to one Florida news outlet.
If you currently have a prescription with Winn-Dixie, expect to receive notice soon about your prescription getting transferred to CVS or Walgreens. At my local Winn-Dixie, I already see posted signs alerting customers that the pharmacy is closing on Sept. 27.
TIP: So far, we haven’t heard yet if Harveys Pharmacy locations plan to close, too. But it sounds likely based on what’s happening with Winn-Dixie.
4. Shoppers’ reactions are mixed — with most concerns raised by Winn-Dixie shoppers and couponers.
When I dove into the online comments about this news, I found that shoppers’ opinions were all over the place. Between cries of, “Don’t Aldi my Winn-Dixie!” and “I love Aldi,” it’s almost hard to imagine the two brands — and two types of shoppers — coming together.
Unlike more typical mergers and acquisitions of grocery stores, like the one we’re seeing unfold with Kroger buying Albertsons, this one involves two retailers with very different store offerings and philosophies.
Aldi stores don’t accept coupons, while couponing at Winn-Dixie is very much a thing (as are their BOGO deals and Rewards points). Winn-Dixie locations often have pharmacy counters, liquor stores, and a deli, but Aldi stores don’t have staffed departments in the same way. And Aldi stores consist of 90% of their own store brands — something that Winn-Dixie isn’t known for.
5. While we wait for more info, brush up on your money-saving skills at both stores.
While there are still a lot of unknowns, it’s clear that you won’t notice any major changes at your Winn-Dixie or Harveys Supermarket in the coming weeks or even months. Unless you have a prescription with Winn-Dixie Pharmacy.
But in case you’ve never shopped at Aldi (or just want to become a better couponer at Winn-Dixie), we can point you to all our best tips and explainers:
- How to Shop at Aldi For Beginners
- Why Is Aldi So Cheap?
- Aldi’s Dye-Free Store Brands
- Aldi Fan Favorites in 2023
- Best Winn-Dixie Deals This Week
TIP: The name “Aldi” is a shortened form of “Albrecht Discounts,” the original name of the German chain of supermarkets.
6. After this deal goes through, expect the Southeast battle to continue for Aldi vs. Publix.
With Winn-Dixie and Harveys out of the way, Aldi’s main competitor in the Southeast will likely be Publix supermarkets.
Even though their core values are slightly different (Aldi focuses on value, while Publix touts their shopping experience), both private companies have a similar number of stores.
Here’s how the two grocery brands stack up as of August 2023:
- Publix: 1,349 stores across 7 states; 250,000+ employees; 10 distribution centers
- Aldi: 2,000+ stores across 36 U.S. states; 25,000+ employees; 26 distribution centers
Based on those numbers, you can see that Aldi has a tenth of the employees that Publix has, which is one of the main reasons Aldi can keep their prices so low — even on non-grocery goods like Aldi Finds.
TIP: Did you know that the same German family owns both Aldi and Trader Joe’s? But the two chains operate independently in the U.S., according to this report.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Proposed Aldi Merger:
Is Winn-Dixie going out of business?
Rather than going out of business entirely, Winn-Dixie will have a new owner once the Aldi deal goes through in mid-2024. As part of the deal, Aldi may choose to convert some existing Winn-Dixie stores to the Aldi format.
Will Winn-Dixie Liquors be closing?
As part of the proposed merger, Aldi will acquire all operations under the Winn-Dixie banner, which means that liquor stores are included in the deal (and Aldi can choose whether or not to keep them open once the deal goes through).
We’ve confirmed this information with a Southeastern Grocers rep, but no liquor store closures have been announced as of August 2023.