In January 2016, South Mississippi took notice when Winn-Dixie stores lowered the prices of bread, cereal, meat, produce and other frequently purchased items for six months.
A year later, the Winn-Dixie stores are still offering the Down Down program and there’s no end in sight.
“We just know that people have stretched budgets and we want to be a good partner in terms of how they are able to provide for their family,” said Scott Morris, executive vice president of merchandising at Southeastern Grocers, parent company of Winn-Dixie.
Winn-Dixie will continue to operate the program “as long as we possibly can,” Morris said.
The company invested $100 million in the promotion and said in a press release the campaign helped some families shopping at Winn-Dixie save about $700 to $1,000 in 2016.
Morris said the company selected 1,000 products that 98 percent of their customers buy each month. Products featured in the Down Down pricing include:
▪ House-brand sandwich bread, $2.09 in 2015, now $1 in 2017, a 52 percent reduction
▪ Fresh-baked French baguette, $1.99 in 2015, now $1 in 2017, a 50 percent reduction
▪ Hickory sweet regular bacon, $5.99 in 2015, now $4 in 2017, down 33 percent
▪ House-brand spring water , $3.25 in 2015, now $2.75 in 2017, a 15 percent reduction
This first anniversary of the program is an opportunity for Winn-Dixie management to look at the success of the campaign.
“We’re trying to build that trust in our customers, and we feel really good about being able to keep that promise,” Morris said.
Customer-insight studies show two-thirds of the Winn-Dixie customers recognize the value of the Down Down program.
There was a question of whether the lower prices would compromise the quality at Winn-Dixie — “and the bottom line is we’ve only improved,” Morris said.
In addition to lowering prices, the grocery chain in the past year pledged to buy all of its farmed seafood from 4-star Best Aquaculture Practices–certified farms by 2018. Winn-Dixie also is improving its in-store brands, Morris said.