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ORLANDO-The 1,079-store Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. has closed on its previously-announced acquisition of nine Gooding’s supermarkets for an undisclosed sum. Industry sources, however, estimate the deal’s value at $50 million. The 36-year-old, privately-held Gooding’s chain continues to operate three area outlets.

The nine stores total an estimated 500,000 sf.

Although neither party would disclose the purchase price, Mark Sellers, president of Winn-Dixie’s Central Florida division, says in a published statement the chain could have built nine comparable stores for less than the acquisition price.

Construction industry sources tell GlobeSt.com the estimated hard cost for nine 50,000-sf stores would be about $45 million, or $5.55 million per store.

Winn-Dixie plans to keep the Gooding’s name on its new acquisitions for at least a year to appease loyal shoppers who have patronized the chain during its 36-year existence.

Jacksonville, FL-based Winn-Dixie is experiencing its roughest financial year in its 75-year-old history. The company lost $229 million in the first half. The stock is trading at $14 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Winn-Dixie has 149 stories in the 12-county Central Florida market.

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