This Popular Southern Grocery Chain Isn't Changing Its 100-Year-Old Name
Winn-Dixie pushed back on a report that it is considering dropping its name after 95 years.
Citing unnamed sources at Winn-Dixie, TMZ recently reported that the Southeast-based supermarket chain "deems the term 'Dixie' as problematic due to ties to the old south and its way of thinking," adding that the possible name change is a response to the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement, and recent civil unrest.
But, the supermarket chain directly denied the claim, with spokesman Joe Caldwell saying in a statement to local newspaper Jacksonville Daily Record: "While we have no immediate plans to rename this banner, we have always been and will continue to be responsive to the needs and concerns expressed by the communities we serve."
The statement, released by Winn-Dixie's parent company Southeastern Grocers Inc., went on to say, "We're committed to cultivating an inclusive culture and community that promotes belonging, inclusion and diversity. As such, we stand against racism and support the Black Lives Matter movement across our country." (Related: 8 Fast-Food Brands Supporting Black Lives Matter.)
In the past, Winn-Dixie, which was founded in 1914, has billed itself as a "southern heritage brand" that serves customers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. But it did not add the name "Dixie" to its name until 1955, when the then-called Winn & Lovett chain acquired the South Carolina-based Dixie Home chain, after which they officially changed their name to Winn-Dixie.
In the aftermath of the civil unrest that followed Floyd's death—and the recent killing of several unarmed people of color—a number of institutions have reconsidered their problematic names and iconography. For instance, the Governor of Mississippi recently announced a willingness to pass a bill to change the state flag to remove the confederate flag portion.
Perhaps more relevant is the band formerly known as The Dixie Chicks, who recently changed their name to The Chicks because they found the term "Dixie" as problematic due to ties to the old south and its way of thinking. Another country music trio, Lady Antebellum, also recently changed their name to Lady A, citing very similar reasons. For more, make sure to sign up for our newsletter to keep yourself informed.