WinnDixie is known for its private label Chek brand soft drinks, which are produced in over 20 different flavors plus diet, and caffeine-free varieties—one of the widest assortments. WinnDixie has been known as "The Beef People" throughout its lifetime. In its advertising and print media, WinnDixie uses the brand promises of "Fresh Checked Every Day" for its Jacksonville DMA, "Getting Better All The Time" in its locations in Central Florida, or "The Flavor Of Your Country", in its Miami area stores, and "Local Flavor Since 1956" in its Louisiana area stores.
Winn-Dixie was listed in the S&P 500 and had been traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "WIN" since February 18, 1952, prior to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005. The company was traded under the symbol "WINN" on the NASDAQ before its purchase. The bankruptcy left the chain with fewer stores than it had in the late 1960s.
On December 19, 2011, BI-LO, another Southeastern supermarket chain, announced plans to purchase WinnDixie. On March 9, 2012, Winn-Dixie became a wholly owned subsidiary of Southeastern Grocers and Winn-Dixie's ticker symbol was removed from the NASDAQ. Southeastern Grocers announced at the time of acquisition that the merged company would be based at Winn-Dixie's headquarters in Jacksonville. BI-LO had previously been based in Greenville, South Carolina. In 2015, Bi-Lo Holdings changed their name to Southeastern Grocers and remained in Jacksonville.
WinnDixie was founded and built up by William Milton Davis and his sons Artemus Darius Davis, James Elsworth Davis, Milton Austin Davis, and Tine Wayne Davis. William Davis started in business in Burley, Idaho, where he bought a general store in 1914 that he later renamed Davis Mercantile. As was common then, he sold most goods on credit. The advent of cash-only grocery stores in the 1920s hurt Davis' business as the new stores offered lower prices and larger selections.
In 1925, William Davis borrowed $10,000 from his father and moved to Miami, Florida, where he purchased the Rockmoor Grocery. In 1927, the company was renamed Table Supply, and four more stores were opened. In 1931, the Davis family bought the Lively Stores chain for $10,000, to create a chain of 33 Table Supply stores across Florida from Miami to Tampa. William Milton Davis died in 1934, leaving his four sons in charge of the company.
In 1939, the Davis brothers bought 51 percent of Winn & Lovett, a chain of 73 stores. In 1944, the brothers bought the remainder of Winn & Lovett and merged the two chains under the Winn & Lovett name. The company headquarters moved to Jacksonville. Winn & Lovett purchased the Steiden Stores chain of 31 stores in Kentucky in 1945 as well as Margaret Ann Stores, with 46 stores in Florida, in 1949. In 1952, Winn & Lovett became the first industrial corporation based in Florida to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.