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Winn Dixie plans to close Bogalusa store

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Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 11:45 pm

A Winn-Dixie official has confirmed the company will close its Bogalusa store as of Jan. 1, but Bogalusa Mayor Charles Mizell has not given up on trying to work out a way to keep the store here.

Winn-Dixie Manager Mike Piazza said Tuesday the store’s lease in Pine Tree Plaza will not be renewed and it will close, but he declined to comment further. Corporate officials did not respond to an email requesting information about the closure prior to deadline.

Mizell said the city of Bogalusa is “extending whatever resources are available” to keep the store here, but he said he has not received a response from Winn-Dixie.

Mizell said he is saddened to hear that Winn-Dixie may be leaving but understands it’s a corporate decision.

“We’re going to ask them to stay,” he said, noting Winn-Dixie is bound by dollars and cents and has to provide profits to its shareholders. “I respect that,” he said.

But he reiterated the city will do whatever possible to convince the company to stay in Bogalusa.

Mizell said he doesn’t know what the economic impact will be for Bogalusa with the loss of Winn Dixie. However, he said, “I would not think our citizens would have to go out of town” to spend their dollars.

The loss of jobs will be felt, however.

“We might be losing some good paying and greatly needed jobs,” Mizell said.

Washington Economic Development Foundation Director Ryan Seal seemed surprised by the news of the closing.

“I heard that rumor, but I hoped it wasn’t true,” he said.

“Every job is precious and every job is needed,” he continued, “and Winn-Dixie has been a fixture in our community for, I think, more than 40 years. We would like for Winn-Dixie to continue to have a presence in our community.”

On a personal note, Seal said his office is just down the street from the store, and he goes in there frequently.

“I just hope and pray that those employees find work locally or at another Winn-Dixie location,” he said.

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  • Old School posted at 9:06 pm on Mon, Jul 8, 2013.

    Old School Posts: 158

    Another business killed by an un-thinking politician.

  • Veronica posted at 10:11 am on Thu, Jul 4, 2013.

    Veronica Posts: 1

    I have to agree with the other posters. The "new" Walmart has a grocery section but their produce is pretty bad most of the time. Winn-Dixie was working hard to stock a great variety of fresh produce.

    Not everyone wants to buy their groceries at Wal-Mart. The prices are often higher than Winn-Dixie's prices so you have to watch Wal-Mart and not just assume their prices are lower because they say so.

    The mayor needs to really work with Winn-Dixie, as in tax breaks to help them stay open. He contradicts himself when he says he will do whatever to keep them open and then goes on to say he hopes the Winn-Dixie employees will find jobs at the end of the year.

    For me, I plan to either drive to Covington for groceries or Franklinton to the Winn-Dixie there. I already have to go to those other towns now because there is NOTHING in Bogalusa to make me spend my money here and I live here.

    Speaking of art studios on Columbia St. It has been 2-3 months since this was announced and does anyone see anything at all happening on Columbia St.? 'Nuff said.

  • KyleK posted at 12:33 pm on Wed, Jul 3, 2013.

    KyleK Posts: 1

    ...and WalMart kills another competitor. Anybody who didn't see this coming has had their head in the sand.

  • BogueBot posted at 11:05 am on Wed, Jul 3, 2013.

    BogueBot Posts: 26

    wow...amazed on so many levels.

    Did no one else see this coming when Wal-Mart moved in?
    Is the mayor really "trying" to figure out a solution to keep Winn-Dixie here?
    What's to figure out? THERE IS NO ECONOMY HERE - PERIOD. I don't care how much Bogalusa Means Business, how many "art districts" are installed, how many biased stories are told of the great economic wealth that flows through here - Bogalusa is pretty much dead. I know it hurts, but accept it. Wal-Mart is here now and nails will be driven into the coffins of whatever businesses remain. The people here live by necessity, not luxury. They don't have extra money to spend on non-essential items. Simple law of supply and demand - the people here don't demand much.
    It's to a point where it seems silly. A new business opens up, the news paper goes out and makes a big, hyped up story about how great said business is, and in two months it's closed. If it's not a pharmacy or some industrial machinery stuff, it won't last. Cafe, eatery, novelty store, boutique...1 year at max. All those bases are covered here, so we don't need anymore. Does anyone else see this? Mr. Mayor, especially you?
    They line up like ducks...Cajun Girls, The Blitz, Chewys Coffee, The Chicken Place, Don Juans, etc...
    This place can't even sustain a coffee shop - that should speak volumes by itself.
    Instead of "Bogalusa Means Business" you guys should alter that for the sake of accuracy into something like "Beware Bogalusa Businesses"


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