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    Publix to Open 7th Pix Unit; GreenWise Coming in '07

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets, Inc. here plans to open its seventh Pix convenience store sometime this month in Seminole, Fla. The 160-square-foot unit, which is the tiniest in Publix' diverse Pix portfolio, will sell gasoline just as the other half dozen Pix stores do, spokeswoman Maria Brous told Progressive Grocer.

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets, Inc. here plans to open its seventh Pix convenience store sometime this month in Seminole, Fla. The 160-square-foot unit, which is the tiniest in Publix' diverse Pix portfolio, will sell gasoline just as the other half dozen Pix stores do, spokeswoman Maria Brous told Progressive Grocer.

    "Pix is a project we've been working on for five years," said Brous. "Like any other project we undertake, our goal is to understand the business, and understand what our customers are looking for in the business."

    Publix has five Pix locations in Florida and one in Franklin, Tenn. The Pix stores range from 160 square feet to 4,000 square feet, and each offers different features, explained Brous. The 4,000-square-foot stores, which are located in Lakeland and Jacksonville, Fla., each have ATMs, and custom sub sandwich tables; while some of the smaller units offer pre-made subs, she noted. One Pix unit features a car wash.

    "We study each format to learn customer preferences. We continue to try different prototypes," she said.

    Pix units also offer a couple of gasoline different programs. Customers can bring in a Publix receipt of $30 or more to receive 3 cents off each gallon of gas; or they can get the 3 cents off per gallon if they pay by Publix gift card.

    In other news, Brous said Publix' much-anticipated, stand-alone natural/organic GreenWise Market will debut in 2007. The company had originally planned to launch the concept later this year.

    "We've just returned from the FMI Show in Chicago, where we were excited to learn of some new items that will help us cater to customers with this format," added Brous.
    -- Jenny McTaggart

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