Winn-Dixie is closing six stores in South Florida

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Winn-Dixies parent company announced Thursday that it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and close 94 "underperforming" stores in a bid to save itself.

Customers at the Biloxi store reported Thursday afternoon that employees were crying after notice was posted that the pharmacy would close permanently at 5 p.m. Customers were told prescriptions will be transferred to the Walgreens Pharmacy across the street in Biloxi.

Southeastern Grocers officials said they conducted a thorough review of options for reducing the company's current debt and have chosen to "voluntarily implement a court-supervised, prepackaged restructuring agreement".

The other supermarkets to be shuttered are in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and SC. The company said it will continue to operate its other 582 "successful stores".

No date was given when the stores will close for good, but the company said it is their goal to emerge from this process within the next 90 days.

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Harveys was founded in 1924 by Iris and J.M. Harvey, and it is the oldest of the stores owned by Southeastern Grocers.

The company did not say how many jobs will be impacted by the closings, or give a timetable.

These six supermarkets join 29 other Winn-Dixie or Fresco stores in Florida for a total of 35 owned by the Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers.

Speculation about a bankruptcy filing has been ongoing for several months since Moody's and several news reports highlighted the company's debt issues.

Bi-Lo, which went bankrupt in separate instances in 2005 and 2009, has been trimming its local store count in recent years. Southeastern stores closed can be found here.

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