BRADENTON -- Just three months after finishing an extensive renovation of one of its West Bradenton grocery stores, Winn-Dixie is closing another one of its locations 49 blocks east on Cortez Road.
On Monday, Winn-Dixie parent company Bi-Lo Holdings announced it will shutter its "underperforming" store at 2501 Cortez Road W. on April 22. The grocery store is one of seven Winn-Dixie stores, the company operates in Manatee County.
In email, company spokeswoman Meredith Holland wrote that Jacksonville-based Bi-Lo is also closing a Tampa Winn-Dixie at the same time. She noted the average Winn-Dixie employs about 60 people. Those who lose their jobs in Bradenton and Tampa "will have the opportunity to pursue other open positions in nearby Winn-Dixie stores."
"This decision was not made lightly, as we understand the impact this may have on some of our store associates," Holland wrote.
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The 59,500-square-foot store is one of Winn-Dixie's stand-alone locations. The store was built in 1979. According to Manatee County records, the building and the 5.7 acres surrounding it are owned by Twelfth West Coast AP 8 Limited Partnership, a New Jersey company.
Holland said closing the Bradenton and Tampa stores are part of an overall strategy of "deliberately fine-tuning our company and network of stores so that we can reinvest in what matters most for our customers -- providing the freshest foods and best deals." Bi-Lo has made in
vestments in other local Winn-Dixies, including a complete makeover for its 7400 Cortez Road store late last year. The store also received an inventory bump, adding a new cheese station and more than 200 wines.
Shortly after that store opened, Winn-Dixie regional vice president Joey Medina told The Herald the changes instituted at the store were designed to appeal to more affluent shoppers who live on Longboat Key.
Three other Winn-Dixie stores near the 2501 Cortez location remain open at 1010 53rd Ave. E., 5802 14th St. W. and 3500 53rd Ave. W.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.