Published 12:05 am Friday, October 24, 2014
Alexander retires after 40 years
Local residents will be losing their beloved Winn-Dixie produce man when he retires tomorrow.
Andy Alexander has been with the company for 40 years and has been the smiling face who has greeted customers in the produce section for more than 10 years.
“It’s exciting,” Alexander said. “It was a fun thing in the produce department. You had more time to talk to customers, talk to people and get to know them better.”
Current Winn-Dixie manager Josh Williamson said that Alexander has been an exceptional individual, a great employee and will be dearly missed.
Alexander said he began his career at Roses Department store in 1974 for $1.65 an hour, and was then offered a position at Quick Chick, which later became Winn-Dixie, for $3.85 an hour.
During these early years in the retail industry, Alexander said he was part of the incorporation of the Universal Product Code (UPC). The Quick Chick was the first store in Andalusia to use a scanner to read the UPCs, he said.
Alexander said he has worked in all levels of the Winn-Dixie store including bag boy to store manager, but has really enjoyed and preferred his time as produce manager.
“It wasn’t as much book work; it was more hands-on work, which I really enjoyed,” he said. “Plus it kept me in shape. For a 60-year-old man, I’d say I’m in pretty good shape.”
Being in this position, he has been able to meet many people in the community and has found encouragement through them, he said.
Alexander served as an Andalusia City councilman from 1996 until 2008.
“I won a seat on the commission board because I already had a relationship with customers coming into the store,” he said. “I had a lot of people encouraging me, and I think that had a lot to do with it.”
During his 40 years with Winn-Dixie, Alexander said he has never had to worry about how the economy has affected other people.
“You look at the economy over the years, with people losing jobs,” he said. “I’ve never been without a job. I’ve always had a steady job; always had insurance; never been laid off; never had to get unemployment; never had to get worker’s comp and just been at work all the time like I’m supposed to be.”
And he said he’s made a good living with the company and been able to successfully to raise his family.
“I’ve made a good living at it and was able to raise two kids that have done very well,” he said.
His plans now are to go to work for his daughter and son-in-law, who have recently purchased a company, and also to relax a little more and do some traveling.
He and his wife of 40 years, the former Frances Floyd, have two children, Chad Alexander and Mandy Alexander, and two grandchildren, Marybeth, 10, and Austin 5.