After a long wait, Marathon residents were eager to see the completely new Winn-Dixie that opened on March 27.

“We already had plans to expand the store, but then Hurricane Irma hit,” said Eddie Garcia, senior vice president of operations at Winn-Dixie. “It destroyed the product, of course, and all the equipment. We literally scrubbed the blueprints and started from scratch.”

The store’s new footprint encompasses the former CVS storefront — increasing the area from 28,000 square feet to 38,000 square feet. The ceilings have been raised, the lighting is LED, the shelves are completely stocked and the store is fully staffed.The design team preserved the underwater mural inside the store. And Winn-Dixie also donated $1,000 to the Marathon High School.

“I have to give credit to our store manager Robert Garcia,” said Garcia, no relation. He was named store manager two weeks before the hurricane. He kept 30 of the store’s associates employed by finding work for them at neighboring Keys stores — Tavernier, Big Pine, Key West and Key Largo. All but the Key Largo store have also received cosmetic updates.

Marathon’s Winn-Dixie has many new amenities — a beer cave, fresh sushi, a pizza station (by the slice or whole pie), a café featuring breakfast pastries, coffee, hot and cold sandwiches. The store also has increased its offering of Hispanic foods and products, a regional decision.

The first Winn-Dixie in Marathon opened in 1982 in its previous location, where Beall’s Outlet is now. The grand opening was attended by about 30 executives from Winn-Dixie’s corporate headquarters in Jacksonville.

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  1. I used to shop at Winn Dixie. I enjoyed their BOGO sales. Then I found out how they treat their customers. On Oct 4, I was shopping, in my usual shopping attire, shorts, a tank top and flip flops. I was on the beverage isle, the one with teas and energy drinks. I was reaching up to get a 22 oz iced tea off the top shelf, when I heard someone say, “are you a vendor?” Well, I was curious as to whom would think a vendor would dress in such a manner, so I stopped mid reach and turned to the woman, who has a stocker for the store. As I did so, a can of iced tea fell off the shelf and onto my head, right side about two inches above my ear. She looked as shocked as I did when I was thinking she though vendors dressed in shorts and tank tops and we went to the customer service desk to stop the bleeding. They were very nice, put some antibiotic cream on my wound and we filled out incident reports. As soon as was done at the store, I went to the emergency room to have my throbbing head checked out. I received the usual head injury inspection and talk and went on my way. From that day I have been experiencing headaches, nightmares (I never even used to remember my dreams) and an earache.
    I have been to my doctor four days later, but it was too soon and I am awaiting another appointment at this time to look into it further.
    When I returned home from the emergency room, I contacted Winn Dixies’s corporate right away. They were very nice, gave me a case number and said I would be hearing from them. After a couple more calls and a week, I received a letter saying they had trying to contact me (the number listed was my correct number) and had not been able to. This embarked me on a several times a week call to the corporate office to get hold of someone in this department to get hold of me. I thought it was fair they pay my doctors expense and that was all I was asking. I was told many times this would be escalated, but yet, my calls went unreturned. Finally, over five weeks later I received my call. And for my pain and suffering I would be awarded a $75 gift card. That is all have a nice day. I do not shop at Winn Dixie anymore and neither do any of my friends or family.

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