Panama City Beach, Fla. — Balloon art and Polynesian dancers greeted customers at the newly reopened Winn-Dixie on Front Beach Road on Saturday afternoon; for a celebration.
“We’ve been looking forward to this,” said Shawn Sloan, Region V.P. for Winn-Dixie. “Since the storm these stores were also affected as was Panama City.”
The grocery chain reopened three Panama City Beach locations this week.
“As this market continues to come back and get stronger, for us to be able to also do the same and really put improvements into our stores, they have taken it as a positive sign and seeing positive growth again which is important to this area,” said Sloan.
While Panama City Beach residents are happy to see another Winn-Dixie open in their area, residents across the bridge are wondering when their local Winn-Dixies will open.
“I have to go all the way to the beach Winn-Dixie,” said Norma Winters, a Panama City resident. Residents like her say the new stores in Panama City and Lynn Haven can’t open fast enough.
Sloan says it won’t be much longer.
“We will be opening two stores in mid-September and the other two stores in mid-October,” he said on Saturday.
He says it’s taken longer to rebuild in Panama City due to lack of resources, but that the process is on schedule.
“We have staff that is being rebuilt back up, we’re looking forward to getting everybody back to work in that market,” said Sloan. “We are looking forward to bringing that community back to life.”