Business Case Studies, Restructuring / Turnaround Strategies Case Study, Winn-Dixie Stores, Turnaround

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Restructuring / Turnaround Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc: Will it be able to Turnaround?

Publication Year : 2007


Industry: Retailing


Case Code: RTS0135B

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Commercial bankruptcies could have a big and devastating impact on an economy as a lot of money is at stake. In recent years, several high-profile corporations like Enron, WorldCom and the like have filed for bankruptcy. Businesses accounted for about 2% of all bankruptcy filings in the US in 2005.In the retail industry 10 companies in the US filed for bankruptcy in 2005, the same year that Winn-Dixie a grocery store chain filed for bankruptcy. Kmart another grocery store in 2002 filed for bankruptcy. What is of significance of Kmart’s bankruptcy was that firstly they were able to turn around successfully and secondly it was believed that the bankruptcy was the biggest ever in the retail industry.

Winn-Dixie a public limited company listed on the stock exchange was a Jacksonville-based grocery store chain with 920 stores in eight southeastern states of the US and the Bahamas. On February 21st 2005, the company filed for Bankruptcy under chapter 11 in the U.S. Winn-Dixie was driven to file for bankruptcy as it fell back on its payments, which kept mounting and the company reached a stage when they just could not afford to take it forward financially. The company filed to help reorganize itself, improve its finances, reduce expenses and decide on how to use its assets to make its stores more productive. Under US bankruptcy laws, the company was allowed to function as it normally would, with a specified time limit to file what was called a ‘Plan of re-organization’. If the plan was not filed within the time stipulated, Chapter 11 would be converted to Chapter 7 which meant that the company was deemed insolvent.

The events of the case happened in 2005/06, when competition in the supermarket grocery retail industry was at its peak. Every retailer was being wiped out with the omnipresent Wal-Mart.

The bankruptcy process was lengthy and sometimes uncertain. How did Winn-Dixie cope with this difficult crisis?

Chapter 11 gave Winn-Dixie some breathing space but what strategies need the company deploy to successfully emerge from its bankrupt state? What would be the perceptions of its customers? Would its image get tarnished? Could they turn around and run their stores as an on going concern after emerging from its bankrupt state?

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the law that operates for retail bankruptcies in the US
  • To understand how competition and complacency could lead to a bankruptcy
  • To analyse how to overcome the vagaries of retail bankruptcy
  • To comprehend financial, personnel, planning and strategies required during bankruptcy.

Keywords : USA; Retail; Grocery; Bankruptcy; Restructuring / Turnaround Strategies Case Study; Chapter11; Plan of Reorganisation; liquidity; Disclosure Statement; restructuring; Business Ethics; Legal; Winn-Dixie

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