Well that's my takeaway anyway in this very interesting opinion dealing with whether Winn-Dixie ("Going Out of Business Since 1954!") can enforce restrictive covenants that bar other tenants from selling "groceries."
Judge Middlebrooks adopted a very narrow definition of the terms at issue:
For fifty-four stores, the district court reached the question of whether the Defendants violated the terms of the restrictive covenants, whose standard language for most stores limited the sale of “staple or fancy groceries” to a discrete “sales area.” Applying general principles of Florida law, the district court construed these terms narrowly, reading groceries as only food items and measuring sales area only by shelving space.But the 11th reversed on this issue, holding there is no reason to define "staple or fancy groceries" so narrowly, and citing to a bunker opinion no less:
Regardless, Webster’s Second New International Dictionary, published first in 1934, also defined groceries to allow non-food items: a grocer is “a dealer in tea, sugar, spices, coffee, fruits, and various other commodities, chiefly foodstuffs.” Webster’s Second New International Dictionary 1105 (1958) (emphasis added). Indeed, a review of other dictionaries reveals no evidence of a contrary or changing definition. See, e.g., Oxford English Dictionary 862 (2d ed. 1991) (groceries are “goods sold by a grocer;” a grocer is “[a] trader who deals in spices, dried fruits, sugar, and, in general, all articles of domestic consumption except those that are considered the distinctive wares of some other class of tradesmen” (emphasis added)); Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary 502 (1979) (“groceries” are “commodities sold by a grocer”; a “grocer” is “a dealer in staple foodstuffs, household supplies, and usually meats, produce, and dairy products” (emphasis added)).Exactly!
Also, a good grocer is a friend to Arnold the Pig.
(I added that last part.)