Seven flavors of chicken wings are among the offerings Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., is including as part of a makeover of its stores to become a “one-stop grocery destination” in the fiercely competitive supermarket business.  The company has completed the “transformational” remodeling of five stores and plans to remodel 17 more locations in the coming year.

The new design features a farmer’s market at the store’s entrance and caters to upscale shoppers inside.

“Just past the greatly expanded produce department is a massive new deli serving restaurant-quality entrees and side dishes for guests who are too time-stressed or choose not to cook a meal,” the company said in a news release.  “Experienced chefs direct preparation of the wide variety of foods, including made-to-order pizza, seven flavors of chicken wings, barbecue bar, and a carving station with fresh fish, poultry and prime rib.”

Winn-Dixie has opened transformed stores recently in Florida near Orlando and in St. Johns County near its headquarters in Jacksonville.

“This store exemplifies our commitment to the fast-growing northwest St. Johns County area and serves as a one-stop grocery destination catering to the needs, tastes and preferences of the surrounding community,” said Dan Lafever, Winn-Dixie regional vice president.  “We are excited to deliver on our promise of providing our guests with a fresh, new shopping experience that is fun and imaginative.”

Winn-Dixie Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Lynch told investors at a conference this spring that the “transformational” remodelings cost more than traditional remodels  —  about $5 million per large store and $3.5 million for smaller stores.  But he said the new stores are generating sales of $500 per square foot, compared with $300 per square foot at earlier remodels.  Fresh food sales also approach 38% or 39% at the new remodels, compared with 31% at traditional remodels, he said.