Winn-Dixie braces to cut 10% of workforce

Jacksonville FL-based grocery chain Winn-Dixie Stores Inc reported a lower profit for the third quarter of its 2004 fiscal year and said it plans to streamline its operations to trim costs.

Net earnings for the third quarter ended March 31, 2004, totaled $610,000, versus a net profit of $50.6 million for the same period a year earlier.

Sales dropped 5.5% to $2.67 billion, and sales at stores open at least a year decreased 6.4% for the fiscal quarter.

Winn-Dixie said it will close 45 unprofitable locations in its core markets, and it plans to leave 111 stores in its non-core markets as well as three distribution centers.

The company also will pursue selling its Dixie Packers, Crackin’ Good Bakery/Snacks, and Montgomery Pizza manufacturing operations.

This action will affect 10,000 positions—or 10% of its workforce—during the next year. Winn-Dixie said it will try to sell the operations that it will exit and offer positions at the firm’s other units.

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