Winn Dixie, the long participant in Shell’s Fuel Rewards Network, may be ready to announce that it is joining Plenti, the coalition loyalty program operated by American Express. Winn Dixie, once part of the 1-2 punch of Florida grocery chains along with market leader Publix, has struggled over the past decade.
Pressured by Walmart’s entry into the Florida market and other competitive issues, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2005. After emerging from restructuring, Winn Dixie was acquired by Greenville, South Carolina based Bi-Lo, a company which has now rebranded as Southeastern Grocers.
Using the Florida market as example of the challenge faced by Winn Dixie to establish relevance with consumers, Publix and Walmart are reported to represent over 70% of the Florida grocery market. With the introduction of Aldi’s, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in recent years, the Florida market is one of the most competitive in the nation. Don’t forget about Costco in the mix as well.
Industry sources consulted by Loyalty Truth say the announcement will come soon and, if it is true, there is impact not just for Plenti, but for Fuel Rewards Network. Further updates to this story will be made as soon as confirmations are obtained.