Community Relations Strategy: WINN-DIXIE

Community Relations Strategy: WINN-DIXIE


For many years, Winn-Dixie suffered a significant decline in sales and brand loyalty while its main competitor emerged as a leader in customer satisfaction and community awareness. In an effort to regain its declining market share, increase brand awareness and establish overall visibility in the South Florida Market, Bitner Group proposed that Winn-Dixie create an ongoing community outreach program with a strategic focus on deepening community ties and elevating Winn-Dixie’s corporate brand and store image within the South Florida market.


  • Position Winn-Dixie as the preferred local grocer of choice for product selection and value
  • Position Winn-Dixie as a committed community partner and valued neighbor
  • Develop beneficial partnerships and alliances with key community leaders and organizations, including Hispanic community organizations
  • Restore consumer confidence in the Winn-Dixie corporate brand
  • Motivate store directors to become active leaders, participants and facilitators in their neighborhoods
  • Support the rollout of neighborhood-specific programs


The Bitner Group team developed a community involvement program that included the implementation of a market analysis customized for each of Winn-Dixie’s 112 stores.  Each plan identified key influencers, community and civic organizations, schools, churches, government officials, special events, etc. that would be vital to the success of each store’s outreach efforts. Bitner Group representatives provided Store Directors support and direction as they began to establish and cultivate relationships with key groups. In addition, Bitner Group devised event tool kits that each store could adapt to their community and unique store needs, such as… youth art nights, community appreciation events, Back to School nights, Hispanic Heritage celebrations, FCAT Math Nights, PTO cookouts, health fairs, tastings, special events, etc.


Bitner Group launched an intensive community outreach program that has seen increased success for the past several years. Program accomplishments include:

  • Winn-Dixie store directors have activated over 100 local partnerships with key community organizations
  • Neighborhood involvement has become an integral part of Winn-Dixie’s ongoing brand promise
  • Community outreach efforts have  resulted in sales lifts of over 100% in select store departments
  • Winn-Dixie store directors are now recognized as committed community partners in the neighborhoods they serve