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A same-day grocery delivery service will be available to Publix shoppers in Florida's Tampa Bay area, beginning Aug. 4. The mobile grocery delivery service Shipt, based in Birmingham, Ala., enables shoppers to order groceries by phone and have them delivered to their homes within the hour.
The service first offered Publix items in February of this year, starting with 14 Birmingham stores.
Despite the local collaborations, Publix spokesman Brian West told the Tampa Bay Times that no official partnership exists between the two companies. "There are several attempts in the market to bring the convenience of grocery delivery to customers," he told the newspaper. "We are aware of Shipt and are reaching out to them."
According to Shipt founder Bill Smith, the company works exclusively with one supermarket chain in each market, choosing operators based on consumer interest. For instance, Shipt also delivers items from The Kroger Co. in Nashville and Dallas.
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, which operates 1,103 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee, has launched a few home-delivery ventures over the years, including the short-lived Publix Direct program, on which it lost millions before discontinuing the service in 2003.