Sears, Winn-Dixie changes expected to have little impact here

Published 4:58 pm Thursday, December 29, 2011

Changes coming to the Sears and Winn-Dixie companies are expected to have minimal effects on the store locations in Chilton County.

Sears Holding Group, the corporate owners of Sears and Kmart stores, announced this year their plans to close as many as 120 stores in 2012 because of a significant decrease in in-store sales coupled with the ongoing economic recession.

On Dec. 19, BI-LO LLC and Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. announced the companies have agreed to merge, creating one company comprised of about 690 grocery stores that will continue to operate under their current BI-LO and Winn-Dixie names.

BI-LO will acquire all outstanding shares of Winn-Dixie stock in the $560 million deal, meaning Winn-Dixie shareholders will receive $9.50 per share in cash.

In both situations, the good news for Chilton County residents is they won’t have to say goodbye to their neighborhood Sears and Winn-Dixie stores.

Lela Allred, owner and operator of Sears Hometown Store in Clanton, said her franchise store is in no danger of closing.

According to a Business Wire press release, both BI-LO and Winn-Dixie will continue to operate as separate companies until the merger is complete.