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LAKELAND, Fla. - Even before opening its first GreenWise natural and organic format store, regional chain Publix Super Markets has decided to expand the concept to include two additional Florida locations in Tampa and Vero Beach, for a total of four units on the drawing board.
Publix is already working on locations in Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton, and while it said the Palm Beach location - a ground up store -- is expected to open later this year, it didn't disclose opening dates of either the Boca Raton stores or the newly planned locations.
Of the remaining three locations, only Tampa will be build from the ground up; the others will be converted from existing Publix stores.
A Publix spokeswoman said it chose the additional locations because Publix shoppers in those markets were already clamoring for more of the existing GreenWise label and other naturalorganic choices in their traditional Publix units.
"Among the criteria used in determining GreenWise locations are the level of purchases or requests for our GreenWise label and other natural and organic products," Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations told Progressive Grocer. "We have seen exceptional growth in the health, natural, and organic food areas of our traditional stores. Publix GreenWise Markets will allow for an environment focused on natural foods as well as provide a venue with an emphasis on prepared foods."
Publix is owned and operated by its 141,000 employees, with 2005 sales of $20.6 billion. Currently Publix has 895 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee.
-- Joseph Tarnowski