Originally created 07/01/00

Grocers scale back late hours



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Late-night grocery shoppers will probably have to drive farther to get to a 24-hour Winn-Dixie.

The Jacksonville-based super market chain confirmed this week that it was cutting back the number of stores open 24 hours, said Winn-Dixie spokesman Mickey Clerc.

The hours for the stores affected will run from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Mr. Clerc said the reason for the shift is simply that the shoppers are not there for all the stores all the time.

"Certainly it's expedient for us to have our stores open when there is business," he said.

Mr. Clerc said the change was not caused by any competitors taking away early morning customers.

Mr. Clerc said the stores that are still open 24 hours were doing a better volume of business, which he suspected was related to where they are located.

Winn-Dixie announced a major corporate restructuring in April designed to cut costs and make the chain more competitive. The company said it would close 114 stores and eliminate 11,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its work force.

The cutbacks were paired with with an announcement of weak third-quarter results, which Winn-Dixie officials termed "disappointing and totally unacceptable."