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franklin county times

Winn-Dixie bought by Houchens

By Staff
Jason Houston FCT Managing Editor
Winn-Dixie in Russellville will be closing its doors on Tuesday, Oct. 19, after being purchased by Houchens Industries, a grocery store chain based in Bowling Green, Ky., that owns the Russellville Save-A-Lot store.
Dennis Wortham, a spokesman for Winn-Dixie, confirmed that the company had reached an agreement with Houchens to purchase the Russellville store, located on U.S. 43 across from Russellville Hospital, but would not elaborate on details of the sale.
Managers at the local Save-A-Lot confirmed that the store was moving, but could not confirm that the store would be moving into the Winn-Dixie building.
According to a profile of the company on Yahoo.com, Houchens Industries' 40 Houchens Markets in Kentucky average less than 20,000 square feet each. Its nearly 200 Save-A-Lot stores cover 15,000 square feet or less. Houchens has stores in 13 states from eastern Texas to New York. The company also owns more than 40 Jr. Foods convenience stores and 23 Tobacco Shoppe discount cigarette outlets, mostly in Kentucky and Tennessee.
It bought cigarette maker Commonwealth Brands in 2001. Founded as BG Wholesale in 1918 by Ervin Houchens, the company is entirely owned by its
employees.
Winn Dixie announced in May that it would close several stores in the as part of an "asset rationalization plan." As part of a national restructuring plan, the struggling company is abandoning non-core markets and selling some poorly-performing stores.
According to media reports, the Russellville location is the currently the only Alabama store being closed.
At the time of the announcement, company officials told local media outlets that they expected the 30 employees who work in Russellville to be offered jobs at other Winn-Dixie stores in Florence and Killen.
The Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm is selling a total of 156 stores nationwide representing 10,000 jobs, with 111 of those stores in the upper South and Midwest.

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