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The Jacksonville Business Journal has an interesting piece about how Winn-Dixie may fare once the company that owns it - Southeastern Grocers, which owns both it and Bi-Lo - goes through an initial public offering (IPO) that is designed to raise about $500 million.

The problem for Winn-Dixie, the story suggests, "may have trouble fitting into a marketplace that has high-end grocers like Whole Foods and low-cost leaders like Walmart squeezing out players in the middle." Winn-Dixie, the Journal writes, is facing "a landscape that has grown more competitive — but it's unclear if the company has changed as quickly as the marketplace."

The competitive landscape is perceived as being populated by companies that are better at their jobs and more specifically defined than Winn-Dixie, with names like Walmart, Costco, Publix, Whole Foods and a variety of dollar stores.
KC's View:
I've always believed that there is may be an even bigger problem for Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo once they go public - that they will have to pay as much or more attention to Wall Street as to Main Street. That can have an impact on costs (the investor class wants them always to go down, even if they are legitimate, long-term investments), and on margins (the investor class always wants them to go up, because they mean higher short-term profits even if they hurt long-term prospects).

The problem, potentially, is that the investor relations people become as important as the merchants, marketers and merchandisers. That rarely is a good thing, especially for a banner that does not exactly have a spotless record.