Helena Winn-Dixie to close

Some Helena residents will have to find a new place to fulfill their grocery shopping lists after Sept. 22, when the local Winn-Dixie will close.

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. announced the closing of 30 underperforming stores this week, including the store at 335 Helena Market Place.

Winn-Dixie Chairman, CEO and President, Peter Lynch, said, “We continue to operate in a particularly difficult economic and retail environment in the Southeast. To respond to these business and economic conditions, we have thoroughly reviewed our retail operations and support structure and have decided to exit certain retail locations and reduce our corporate and field support staffs. We sincerely regret the impact this will have on some of our associates, and we will make every effort to ensure these associates can pursue other open positions or have a smooth and respectful transition.”

Helena City Councilmember Cris Nelson said the closing comes at a bad time for the city, which recently had to lay off employees because of a lack of revenue.

“It will affect the city’s revenue,” Nelson said. “But it’s also going to hurt the other businesses in that complex. We will do all we can to help find a new tenant to fill the vacancy.”

Helena Police Deputy Chief Tim Carter said he hopes Helena residents won’t stray far to find a new grocery supplier.

“We just hope people who shopped at Winn-Dixie will go across the street and shop at Publix to keep their business in the city,” he said.