Winn-Dixie may close stores as parent company prepares for bankruptcy

Decision could come as early as next month

By David Benfield - Web producer

Jacksonville-based grocery store chain Winn-Dixie could soon close some of its stores for good. 

Bloomberg News reported Friday that the chain’s owner, Bi-Lo, is preparing for bankruptcy and the filing could come as early as next month. 

Bi-Lo LLC is a subsidiary of Southeastern Grocer. In addition to Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo, Southeastern Grocer also operates under the Fresco y Mas and Harvey’s names. 

According to the Bloomberg report, Bi-Lo is planning on shutting down 200 stores, but Southern Grocers may try to find a way to restructure its debt outside of court.

Supermarket News reported that Southeastern Grocers’ financial issues are not new. Last year, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the company’s debt to indicate a high degree of risk. In November, Moody's said the retailer needed to revamp its capital structure in the face of significant debt due to mature this year and next.

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