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    Publix to Open 1000th Store

    To commemorate the event, the grocer will give eight local schools $1,000 each for school supplies.

    Publix will reach a significant milestone with the rollout of its 1000th store, which is set to open Feb. 5 at the Shoppes at Murabella in St. Augustine, Fla. Employing about 115 associates, the 54,000-square-foot location will include a pharmacy and bakery, deli, floral and fresh seafood sections.

    "We are proud of our 79-year history, rich in providing superior customer service and delivering a high-quality selection of foods, products and services," said Publix president Todd Jones. "Our core philosophy remains the same: We strive to be your grocer of choice, there for every memorable moment -- becoming your Publix. Being a part of the lives of our customers and associates is as important in our 1000th store as it was in our first."

    Opening-day festivities will kick off with a performance by the St. John’s Academy of the Arts choral group. To mark the occasion, Publix will grant eight area schools $1,000 each to use toward the purchase of school supplies. Additionally, the Florida Historical Society will be in attendance to document the event.

    Further, the grocer has a full slate of future openings scheduled this year. "Currently, we have 31 Publix locations planned for 2009 in current markets," company spokeswoman Maria Brous told Progressive Grocer. "This number may change as the year progresses."

    Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, which is privately owned and operated by its 144,000 employees, currently operates 997 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

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