November 08, 2013
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Ricky Taylor, left, who is retiring from Winn-Dixie store No. 1448 after 39 years, was emotional last month as he received a custom football jersey to be “retired” in the store’s back room. The jersey, right, hangs over the main rear entrance into the store.​

When longtime Winn-Dixie associate Ricky Taylor told Store No. 1448 Director Rodney Hicks he would be retiring, Hicks joked that Taylor’s jersey would have to be retired, too.

I told him ‘we’re going to put you in the hall of fame and hang your jersey from the ceiling,” Hicks said.

And at Taylor’s retirement party, the staff of store No. 1448 in Covington, La. awarded him with a uniform jersey to be “retired” at the store. Taylor had worked at the same store since 1974, so the number emblazoned on the jersey was No. 74. The colors of the jersey were fashioned after the Lions football team of nearby Covington High School, Hicks said. The jersey is on display in the store’s back room, over the double-door entrance to the store, Hicks said.

“Every time they walk through the warehouse, they see it,” he said. “You see it before you go out on the floor. That’s where I thought it should go. It made the most sense.”

The ceremony was performed in front of a group of current and former associates who were notified about two weeks in advance so they could attend, Hicks said. The store’s bakery department made a cake featuring Winn-Dixie canned goods, a tribute to Taylor’s long tenure as a store stocker.

Over the years, Taylor has worked for an estimated 15 store directors, Hicks said.

“He’s been a fixture at the store. He was always at this location,” Hicks said. “Customers know him by name, he knows most of them by name. He knows where everything is.”

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