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The Winn-Dixie sale: Local leaders, economist offer views (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Daily Record) — City leaders reaction to German grocer Aldi agreeing to buy Winn-Dixie:

“The Winn-Dixie brand has a long, rich history in Jacksonville. We look forward to the opportunity to meet with Aldi executives and make the case why they should join FIS, Dun & Bradstreet, CSX and other major corporations whose headquarters are here in Jacksonville.”

Donna Deegan, Jacksonville Mayor

“Recently we’ve seen more than our share of companies relocating headquarters to Jacksonville. We’ve got a great story to tell and we can’t wait to talk to Aldi about coming here.”

Daniel Davis, President and CEO, JAX Chamber

“Winn-Dixie has been an incredible asset to the City of Jacksonville. Whether it was helping find solutions to food desert concerns or fostering community partnerships across our city, Winn-Dixie has always stepped up and I have every faith those same qualities will be inherited as Aldi acquires these locations.”

Ron Salem, Jacksonville City Council President and At-Large, Group 2 representative; President of Salem & Associates, pharmaceutical industry consulting services

“Aldi intends to convert several of the Winn-Dixie stores it’s acquiring into its own format after finalizing the deal. With Aldi’s expansion, more communities will be introduced to its store-brand products and competitive pricing. This move offers fresh options for areas previously unfamiliar with Aldi and is expected to intensify price competition with rivals like Walmart and Publix.”  

 Albert Loh, Professor of Economics; Director, Local Economic Indicators Project; Associate Dean for Faculty, Administration, and Research;  Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida

“This is the end of an era for Jacksonville. While I was privileged to know the Davis family through their philanthropy, one thing that’s assured is that the impact of Winn-Dixie will forever be a part of this community. With more than $121 billion in net sales, I think Aldi is poised to make a significant impact in Jacksonville. I received a call from Team Aldi on Friday (Aug. 18), and they said that any changes (including renaming) would be gradual. I’m optimistic that with their focus on corporate responsibility and sustainability, the company will also work toward helping to eliminate food deserts that impact so many communities. Aldi represents progress and opportunity.”

Rahman Johnson,  District 14 City Council member; Assistant Professsor, Journalism, Edward Waters University

Photo courtesy of Supermarket News