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Publix Super Markets Inc. plans to upgrade the store at Lake Miriam Shopping Center on South Florida Avenue in its hometown of Lakeland, Fla., with a number of features new to the grocer’s Polk County stores, according to a published report. The 35-year-old location will be the first in the area to get an Apron’s Cooking School, as well as an Apron’s Event Planning desk. The renovated store will also incorporate elements from Publix’s hybrid stores, which combine traditional supermarkets with its GreenWise Market locations.
“This store is a very unique remodel for us,” Publix spokeswoman Shannon Patten told The Ledger in Lakeland. “In addition to enhancing the overall environment, we will also have the opportunity to bring in new services and enhance the product offerings.” According to Patten, the remodel could begin as soon as July, and is anticipated to take five to six months. The store will stay open the entire time, with the more extensive work to take place after operating hours.
Patten added Publix hopes to open the Apron’s Cooking School by the fall. The school will offer classes for experienced and novice cooks on specific cuisines and techniques, while also covering items like desserts and holiday meals, while the Event Planning desk will enable shoppers to tap services from various store departments, including bakery and floral, for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
Additional new features for the Lake Miriam store will include a dining area, creative merchandise displays, a bigger selection of natural and organic foods, and more housewares and health-and-wellness products, while the updated decor will employ warm, earthy colors and make use of natural materials like stacked stones.
The Lake Miriam remodel comes in the wake a number of area construction projects for Publix. Earlier this year, the company’s VP of real estate, Jeff Chamberlain, revealed that the chain was undertaking store remodeling and rebuilding projects as a way to continue growing business during a sluggish economy.
Publix, which operates 1,051 stores, currently has more than 100 remodeling projects underway, Patten told the newspaper.