Tim Hammond drove to the Winn-Dixie on Columbia Road in Martinez on Friday to do some shopping.
The Winn-Dixie Marketplace on Columbia Road closed its doors Friday. The Winn-Dixie on Furys Ferry Road closed Saturday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The look of disappointment on his face showed immediately as he noticed the store's doors were locked and a sign proclaimed, "We're closed.''
"I've been shopping here about 10 years,'' he said, standing in between the store's front doors and his parked car. "It's sad to see any business close.''
He said going to another store would take some getting used to, and that he enjoyed Winn-Dixie for its meat selection and because he didn't have to search for things there because of his many years of shopping in the same store.
"Now I'll have to learn that all over again,'' he said with a chuckle.
The Columbia Road Winn-Dixie closed Friday, one day before the Winn-Dixie on Furys Ferry Road closed its doors.
The closings of both Columbia County Winn-Dixie stores are the result of Winn-Dixie announcing it will sell or close 326 stores in several states as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
Officials at Winn-Dixie's corporate headquarters office say they have been working to see whether the stores set for closing could be sold to another grocery business.
"It is always our hope that any affected associates would hopefully have an opportunity to work in those new businesses,'' said Dennis Wortham, a communications manager for Winn-Dixie.
As of Friday, there was no news of any businesses interested in the Columbia County sites.
Workers of the stores that closed will have the opportunity to apply for open Winn-Dixie jobs in other locations.
"Where we have openings, they are more than welcome to apply for any of those openings throughout the stores in our new footprint,'' Wortham said.
"Unfortunately, when you have so many affected associates, that's just not always possible.''
Winn-Dixie officials have declined to say exactly how many people worked in the two Columbia County stores, but they say a typical Winn-Dixie employs between 60 and 70 people.
For workers who might lose their job, officials at the Georgia Department of Labor have said they will offer any assistance possible.
The state department has said it is willing to work with employees to help them file unemployment insurance claims and give them access to services that will help get them back to work quickly.
Those in need of help are asked to call the Georgia Department of Labor's Augusta Career Center on Greene Street at 721-3131.
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