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The new Publix store opening May 1 in Plantation, Fla., is first in south Florida to combine a conventional grocery store with the best features of the chain’s GreenWise Market format to offer more prepared foods and a greater assortment of natural, organic and green items, according to a published report. The 57,000-square-foot former Albertsons site is not only larger than an average Publix, but also contains a cooking school on the upper level.
Whether Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix opens additional supermarkets like this one in the area will depend on how well the Plantation store does. Its closest competitor is a Whole Foods Across the street, and there are three other Publix stores within a few miles of the new location.
“We open a new store because we really feel like there is enough volume in that community,” Publix spokeswoman Kimberly Jaeger told the Miami Herald as an explanation of the company’s choice of the site.
"[T]his location is not an official 'hybrid' location like our Naples store opening this summer, which will have a different look and feel than a regular Publix," Jaeger clarified to Progressive Grocer. "Instead, it is a traditional Publix with expanded fresh culinary venues that we have in our GreenWise Markets, and an expanded selection of natural and organic foods and products. In other words, we have taken our best practices from our GreenWise Markets and incorporated them into this store. [The r]eason [for this] is that it offers our customers the best of both Publixes — essentially a one-stop shop — and we have the retail space to do this at this location."
The new store will feature a range of gourmet prepared foods, a carving station for fresh sandwiches, a larger olive bar, hot soup, a salad bar, imported cheeses, organic wines, a liquor store, a pharmacy, a bakery offering gluten-free products, and organic and natural cosmetics and HBC items. Customers will be able to take their food home or eat in the store in a café area.
The Apron's cooking school, Publix’s sixth, will begin offering classes on May 7. The school will feature courses on a variety of cuisines and techniques demonstrated by well-known chefs, writers, cooking celebrities and area restaurant chefs. The space will also offer gourmet food and wine tastings, and classes aimed at children and teens.
On the day of the opening, the first 500 customers will get a Publix reusable bag.