Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Winn-Dixie #2304 - New Smyrna Beach, FL (Post-Remodel)

Winn-Dixie #2304
1835 State Route 44, New Smyrna Beach, FL - Coast Plaza

     From the calming teal and cream pastels of the late 90's, Winn-Dixie transports this store into the late 2010's with many, many, gallons of red paint, both inside and out. As part of Winn-Dixie's most ambitious remodeling campaign since the post-bankruptcy era of 2007-2009, the Winn-Dixie in New Smyrna Beach was included as part of the remodeling sweeps of 2017/2018. However, had it not been for Publix rebuilding their store across the street, I feel this Winn-Dixie would have kept its old Marketplace decor in-tact. The threat of a new Publix immediately across the street probably scared corporate into remodeling this store as a way to keep shoppers from fleeing to the new modern grocery shopping accommodations awaiting them on the other side of Route 44. While the vast majority of Winn-Dixie's remodels in the last few years have been far from extensive, this store did receive some more love than many other recently remodeled Winn-Dixies I've visited in the last few months. While nothing major changed about the building or this store's layout, Winn-Dixie did put in the effort to redo some of the more aged parts of the floor, as well as adding some upgraded decor to the service departments.

     Even with all the red on the front of this building today, this place is still very much a 90's Marketplace store at its core. The new logo and red paint look nice on this style of building too.

     Some of that red decor can be seen through the open door in this photo. Let's head inside and take a look at even more of that stuff...

     Stepping inside is the cart corral, above which is the customized welcome sign. Each Winn-Dixie with the Down Down/Red Decor has a sign featuring old photos of Winn-Dixie stores, with some stores getting additional local flare photos thrown into the mix too, like the sign here. In addition to the classic Winn-Dixie photos, the nearby Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is featured on this sign, as well as one of Florida's many beachside pelican friends (this is New Smyrna Beach after all, so Winn-Dixie had to throw something in to represent that!).

     Stepping away from the cart corral, this new "Sand & Surf" department greets us as we head past the registers into the rest of the store. Prior to the remodel, this little alcove (which was home to a photo counter when this store opened) was used as a space to store some random promotional merchandise. With the remodel, that sad little alcove was transformed into this, and looks really nice too! I like the tiki bar theme used for this department, a nice touch and a way to add a little fun to this department. Previously, the beach stuff was housed in front of the old pharmacy counter, the decorations a bit more halfheartedly thrown together then.

     Finally getting into the main part of the salesfloor, produce greets us as the first department we come across. The old floor tiling was ripped up in the produce department to install some new wood-grain style tiles, one of the fancier touches this store received. The produce displays also appear to be new.

     Looking from produce toward the back right corner of the store in this photo. Instead of the usual sea of red found at most remodeled Winn-Dixie stores, this store's service departments got wood paneling where red paint would have otherwise been used. The wood paneling makes for a nicer contrasting effect to offset the power of all that red.

     The wood paneling extends from the deli department in the back right corner all the way to the butcher counter about halfway down the store's back wall. We'll also see the wood paneling again in the bakery, as well as take a few closer looks at the paneling when we get to those particular departments.

     As usual in these Down Down/Red Decor remodels, the original large floral counter located between produce and the alcohol were removed. In exchange, floral got pushed over toward the wall. Even with the counter gone, the selection of flowers still looked to be about the same now as it was prior to the remodel.

     Floral is followed by Wine & Beer, the only department in the store to get the black painted walls.

     Even back here in the alcohol department, the floor tiles were replaced with a new design.

     In addition to the wall sign, the Wine & Beer department also included this sign hanging above the department itself.

     Finding ourselves in the deli department now, the texturing of the wood paneling becomes more apparent. The addition of the wood really helps remove much of that overbearing feeling you get from the stores that are almost entirely red. Even in BI-LO's recent remodels, the use of wood is much more common to see than with Winn-Dixie's. In case you haven't seen it, BI-LO uses this same decor, but with green as the primary color instead of Winn-Dixie's red. Saying that also makes me want to ask this question: Which version of the Down Down decor do you guys like the best - Winn-Dixie's red version, BI-LO's green version, or Harvey's/Fresco y Mas's yellow version? It's all the same decor, but I think the change in color palate can make a real difference in perception.

     In addition to the wood paneling, the tile backsplashes in the service departments were also replaced with this decor's black tiles. The refreshed deli department we find post-remodel has some additional offerings like the meat carving station and a sub counter in addition to the cold cuts. The island cooler in front of the deli is still the original cooler, just repainted. The deli cases appear to be a combination of refreshed old cases mixed in with a few new ones to accommodate the expansion of the prepared foods.

     The "kitchen" is the prepared foods portion of the deli, with the hot food trays located immediately under the word "kitchen" up there on the wall. The carving station I mentioned before is also over here, along with the sandwich station and the chicken wing bar.

     And it's just not a recent Winn-Dixie remodel without the addition of the Dollar Shop, visible here in the distance beyond all the soda.

     Like I've said before, the Dollar Shop is a great idea, especially in the realm of impulse buying. Winn-Dixie really wants to push the prominence of these Dollar Shops in their stores to the point where the Dollar Shops now get exterior signage on the building, just like the pharmacy would if this store had one. You can see this store's exterior Dollar Shop sign in the last photo of this post.

      Even though these Dollar Shops typically appear in Winn-Dixies that have gotten recent remodels, I have seen one Winn-Dixie in the last year get a Dollar Shop without getting an entire remodel.

     Leaving the land of $1 merchandise behind us, here's a look across the front of this store.The Dollar Shop takes up the first two grocery aisles after the produce department. The regular groceries begin in aisle 3.

     For our first look at one of the grocery aisles, we take a peek down aisle 5, home to breakfast foods.

     A bit of redundancy with the categories on this aisle marker, but I guess this is better than leaving a blank panel up there. The butcher counter also peeks out from the end of this aisle.

     It's a remodeled Winn-Dixie, but there's no red on the walls for as far as the eye can see here!

     The meat and seafood service counter is peeking out from behind all of these displays.

     Angling the camera a bit more to my left, here's a look across the back of this store. The red returns once we hit the pre-packaged meat cases and dairy further down the wall.

     Here's the frozen foods department in the middle of the store. While the coolers are the old ones with a new paint job, the flooring is new. You can see the before look by clicking here. Instead of getting fancy new coolers, Winn-Dixie opted to splurge on wood paneling here instead. 

     Returning to the back wall, the meat coolers become visible here. Like with frozen foods, it's the same coolers in this part of the store. However, unlike frozen foods, what you see here is the original tile pattern. At least this tile pattern goes rather well with the new decor, unlike some other decor mis-mashes we've seen in the past.

     Moving back into the grocery aisles, the very 90's lighted magazine rack was removed to make a new home for the greeting cards, which jumped across the aisle. The former home of the greeting cards became home to baby supplies.

     The aisles in the health and beauty department were reconstructed to eliminate the odd "Aisle 11A" situation that was once here. With the remodel, these health and beauty aisles now line up perfectly with the aisles behind them.

      With the moving of the Sand & Surf department to the front of the store, the space in front of the old pharmacy counter has become home to some snacks and drink coolers.

     Some new paint and some wood paneling, and the bakery looks much more modern than before! While I am sad to see the old neon go, Winn-Dixie did a good job cleaning up this store, even if their remodels are on a much more restrictive budget than what the flamboyant neighbors across the street do. The display cases and tables in the bakery also appear to be new.

      This picture is my official close-up of the wood paneling we've been seeing throughout this store. People always used to make fun of wood paneling for being something right out of the 1970's, but I guess the stuff is becoming trendy again, just like vinyl records and, believe it or not, the fanny pack!

     Anyway, in the last aisle we find the dairy department. Since I've been linking to a bunch of before photos throughout this post, I might as well keep that going with this photo of the dairy department before the remodel.

     Here's one last look across the back wall before we return to the dairy aisle...

     Here's a scene I always tend to forget to grab at these 90's Winn-Dixie stores: A look straight down the center aisle, which separates the grocery aisles in half.

     Lastly, a few parting shots of the front end before I wrap up this post...

     So there you have it - a recently remodeled Winn-Dixie! It's certainly not the most grandiose remodel we've seen, but it's nice to see Winn-Dixie try. Will this remodel be enough to keep this store afloat against the fancy new Publix across the street? We'll just have to wait and see...

     While I've finished my coverage of these supermarket remodels in New Smyrna Beach, our time in this town is not over yet. Tune into AFB on August 25th for our grand finale from New Smyrna Beach, featuring a fantastic relic of the past that also ties into this series. Be sure to head over to AFB on the 25th to see this!

So until the next post,



  1. The Bi-Lo green decor is my favorite. The green coloration looks so much better than red. However nothing gets as awful as Harvey's yellow! It works ok in Fresco Y Mas, but thats about it.

    I actually went to the Ponce Inlet lighthouse this past weekend, but because of a nearby thunderstorm the lighthouse was closed. So disappointed. I think the Winn-Dixie faithful will continue to shop here but I doubt this place (as nicely remodeled as it is) will win over the "Publix devotees".

    1. That stinks that you weren't able to visit the lighthouse. Visiting the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is on my list of places to go, as I've done a lighthouse tour before and it was a fun experience. I haven't been able to work the lighthouse in my last few times up that way.

      Winn-Dixie is really trying with these most recent remodels, and it's nice to see the effort, but I think it's going to take some more than buckets of red paint to win over the Publix loyalists.

  2. I agree with you, this remodel looks particularly good on the store's exterior! Interesting indeed to see the Dollar Shop sign out there, though - I didn't realize they were pushing that feature that much.

    I dig the Sand & Surf department, and overall the remodel turned out nicely, especially with the added elements like the wood floor in produce and the wood paneling for the service departments. I'm kinda surprised the coffin coolers in frozen foods were kept, and I'm sure they miss the old Marketplace floor patterns surrounding them, haha! But the new tile there does look cleaner, if not as cool...

    I like the term "Kitchen" for the hot foods - I was writing some descriptions yesterday, and having trouble coming up with different terms for that service of the deli and the usual deli meat component. And over at the bakery, the dual signs are a little weird, but I guess it's only a problem from that one specific angle, as I really like your shot looking straight at the bakery from the dairy aisle! In fact, great comparison photos throughout...

    Last up, to answer your question, I think I probably like the BI-LO décor the best, although I quite like the Winn-Dixie red as well. It's just that I've seen the former in person, but not the latter - maybe my opinion would change if I did see the red! Usually though, the red doesn't seem to be broken up with the wood paneling as it is in this store (and as you pointed out), which makes it a little overwhelming in photos. Oddly enough, the BI-LO green always seems to be broken up with the wood paneling... I wonder why the disparity.

    Looking forward to that finale post!

    1. I think Winn-Dixie is trying to push the Dollar Shops to win over the Walmart crowd, and using the remodels to clean up the stores to win over the Publix people. Winn-Dixie even put in a taproom at a store they recently remodeled up by Jacksonville, which seems like a feature that's trying to appeal to the Lucky's crowd. I think Winn-Dixie is suffering from stuck-in-the-middle syndrome, trying to do things with their stores in an attempt to win over anyone they can.

      Usually as time goes on, we see remodels getting cheaper and cheaper. Strangely enough, Winn-Dixie's remodels started out cheap and are growing increasingly more elaborate. Maybe not extremely elaborate, but some of the original remodels never bothered to replace the floors or coolers like the most recent remodels are trying to do. Even if this store didn't get the new coolers, Winn-Dixie did do a good job of making the old ones match the new decor. At least with some new paint, the coolers won't miss the old Marketplace tiling as much! :)

      Lucky's also calls their prepared foods department "The Kitchen", so that seems to be the going phrase for that department around here. Unless you're standing right in front of the bakery, the weird double sign thing isn't noticeable, as I'm sure that was done so the bakery could be seen from anywhere in the store. There were plenty of comparison opportunities here, so I'm glad you liked that component of this post!

  3. This Winn-Dixie's remodel looks really nice. I like how they replaced the floor in the Produce section and that they put wood backgrounds on the service depaetments instead of that bright red Winn-Dixie typically uses.
    I like the down down down red colour better than BI-LO Green.

    1. They did a nice job with this store, and it seems like other remodels from the last few months are using the wood paneling and replacing the floors too. It makes for a nicer atmosphere with those touches.

  4. I'm sure all of you guys are curious to know what my favorite of the three decor versions are, so I'll just put it here. For me, my favorite is BI-LO's green version, mostly because the green color isn't as powerful as all that red can be. However, the red version with the wood accents isn't all that bad, as it really tones down the power of all the red. After seeing the red version quite a few times now, it's beginning to grow on me though. However, I think think Down Down's predecessor The Green Interior was Winn-Dixie's best decor since emerging from bankruptcy. And I think I've expressed before my feelings on the yellow version :)

  5. It'll probably be later in the fall when I make it to Lynn Haven. I'm really curious to see how elaborate the remodel is that Winn-Dixie is going to do to #436.

    I think that store seen in the video up uploaded to flickr is the Thomas Drive location in PCB. I noticed open warehouse ceilings. That store had drop ceilings before. I hope they do that at #436!