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Winn-Dixie at Weaver’s Corner to close

March 15, 2019
By CHUCK?BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The sign at the front of the Winn-Dixie at Weaver's Corner Shopping Center says it all: Store Closing.

Inside, many of the shelves were already empty as of Friday, with signs saying merchandise has been discounted for quick sale by as much as 50 percent. Just don't try to use your rewards card, they don't apply.

For more than four decades, the Winn-Dixie at Weaver's Corner has served customers throughout North Fort Myers.

Article Photos

CHUCK?BALLARO

The Winn-Dixie at Weaver’s Corner Shopping Center last Friday. The store, which has been open for 42 years, will close March 25. 

The front remains a little bit dated as does the interior, but for many nearby residents, it was their grocery store, close by and easy to get to by foot, bike, or golf cart.

On Feb. 21, it was announced that parent company Southeastern Grocers would close the Weaver's Corner store at 1850 N. Tamiami Trail and 21 other "underperforming" stores" in the Southeast.

"We realize that the closure of an underperforming store in your community can be challenging. We do not take these decisions lightly, and only make this tough choice after careful consideration of its impact on our associates and our customers has been made," said Joe Caldwell, senior manager of corporate communications, in a statement.

The Weaver's Corner store will close March 25.

Some of the employees have already transfered to other stores.

This was a Winn-Dixie priority, officials said.

"We are committed to ensuring all associates are treated with the dignity, respect and compassion they deserve. They were the first to know of this decision and have our dedicated support during this transition," Caldwell said.

For residents, it is sad to see the store close.

They also feel for those who work there, paticularly the long-timers.

"I feel bad for the employees, but it's also such a convenient location," said Vivi Casio. "There's another store a mile away, but that's an inconvenience to older folks. It would be sad if this plaza went under because it's a perfect location."

The closing comes after Southeastern Grocers, based in Jacksonville, came out if Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018 with a plan to close more than 90 stores. Winn-Dixie and its sister companies Bi-Lo, and Harvey's would be affected.

The Weaver's Corner Winn-Dixie opened in 1977 and, for years, served residents throughout Palmona Park, Suncoast Estates and much of North Fort Myers.

That customer base started to shift in 2014 after Winn-Dixie bought out Sweet Bay, resulting in another Winn-Dixie at Foxmoor Plaza at 5660 Bayshore Road, about a mile to the east of the Weaver's Corner location.

The new location is more modern inside and out.

It soon became apparent the community could not support two Winn-Dixies, especially within such close proximity.

Cheryl Maymon, of CAM Realty in Punta Gorda, which leases out the stores at Weaver's Corner, said Winn-Dixie still has a lease there and that they are seeking a replacement, but could not comment further.

For other store owners in the plaza, there is a sense of trepidation.

With the anchor closing, some fear this could mean a drastic drop in business for the other businesses there.

Mitch Albario, owner of Crazy Deals, said Winn-Dixie had 10,000 customers per week.

A loss of traffic of that magnitude could result in the closing of more than just the anchor if another tenant isn't acquired quickly, he said.

"When the anchor closes, little by little, the little stores close up as well. We have a strong following, we don't think it will hurt us as much as the others," Albario said. "As long as we get a new tenant in there, we should be fine. If we don't in the next few months, I might be going with them."

 
 
 

 

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