Some Winn-Dixie stores reborn with Hispanic focus

- As nearly 100 Winn-Dixie stores close across the Southeast, the chain’s parent company, Southeastern Grocers, is trying its hand at something different: Appealing to Tampa’s Hispanic population.

Two stores will be transitioning into Hispanic grocery stores, called Fresco Y Mas. Southeastern Grocers CEO Anthony Hucker says he wants to provide a shopping experience that resonates with the customer.

“Rather than relying on one store model, we’re entrenching ourselves into the communities we serve, to better understand each unique landscape, and our customer’s shopping habits,” Hucker said.

The first Fresco Y Mas store opened in Hialeah in 2016. Since, the company has converted 24 Winn-Dixies into Fresco Y Mas stores. But these two Tampa locations -- on Armenia Avenue and Sheldon Road -- are the first for the Bay Area.

“We’re confident that now is the time to introduce Fresco into Tampa, into those neighborhoods, and offer those customers an authentic grocery store experience," Hucker continued. 

Customers can expect Hispanic produce items they won’t necessarily find elsewhere, like yucca and Malanga Blanca. The shell of the old Winn-Dixie is there, but customers will see updates like bilingual signage, a Latin butcher shop, and a renovated bakery called a panaderia.

“We want to be committed to our customers to ensure that the unique tastes and needs of the community are not only available but they’re celebrated with items that are authentically tailored to each neighborhood,” said Hucker.

The re-branded stores will open April 11.

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