Winn-Dixie was a long-time grocery chain in several locations in Clemson. The original store was located at the south end of College Avenue where Mr. Knickerbocker is now in business. The second store opened in December 1960 at the bottom of the hill below downtown in the location now occupied by the Blue Heron and other businesses. This store closed in the summer of 1975 with the construction of a new larger facility on the US 123 By-pass (now Tiger Boulevard) in Lakeview Plaza. Winn-Dixie would move again to another new facility on the east side of the Old Greenville Highway (SC 93).
With the financial difficulties experienced by the chain in 2003 which would culminate in a bankruptcy filing on February 22, 2005, the chain announced in April 2004 that it would close 156 stores, including all those in North and South Carolina. This marked the departure from Clemson of one of the grand old names of retailing in the Clemson community.
Bi-Lo would later buy the vacated store across SC 93 from its Clemson store to prevent competition from moving into the old Winn-Dixie.
Winn-Dixie Stores on Monday December 19, 2011, announced plans to merge with grocery chain BI-LO in a $560 million deal that will take the Jacksonville-based company private. Under the terms of the deal, Winn-Dixie shareholders will receive $9.50 in cash per share of Winn-Dixie common stock, a premium of about 75 percent over where the company’s stock closed at on Friday. The deal is expected to close in the next 60 to 120 days, pending approval of Winn-Dixie shareholders and federal anti-trust clearance. Even after the merger, the Winn-Dixie name will remain and both companies will continue to operate independently. The deal is not expected to lead to any store closings or layoffs, said Peter Lynch, chairman and chief executive of Winn-Dixie. “I think it’s the next logical step in our journey,” Lynch said in a phone interview after the deal was announced. “It’s an opportunity to get a strong financial backer. I think the synergies of the two companies coming together will make a much stronger company.” Together the new company will have about 690 grocery stores and 63,000 employees in eight states in the southeastern United States. Regulatory approval is not expected to be an issue because the two companies have no overlap. BI-LO is based in Greenville, South Carolina and operates in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, while Winn-Dixie is located in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. BI-LO is owned by the Dallas-based private equity group Lone Star Funds. (Walker, Elaine, "Winn-Dixie sold to BI-LO", Miami Herald, Monday 19 December 2011.)