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    Publix Sets Opening Date of 9/27 for First 'GreenWise' Unit

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- After more than two years of preparation, Publix Super Markets will unveil later this month the first Publix GreenWise Market, its new store concept dedicated to natural and organic foods, and earth-friendly products. The store, being built from the ground up, will open in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. on Sept. 27, spokeswoman Maria Brous told Progressive Grocer yesterday.

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- After more than two years of preparation, Publix Super Markets will unveil later this month the first Publix GreenWise Market, its new store concept dedicated to natural and organic foods, and earth-friendly products. The store, being built from the ground up, will open in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. on Sept. 27, spokeswoman Maria Brous told Progressive Grocer yesterday.

    The format will distinguish itself in a number of ways, according to Publix, which offers details on the format strategy on its Web site.

    For example, Publix Greenwise Market will adhere to strict operational criteria to ensure the integrity and purity of its organic offerings, Publix said. Many departments are seeking "organic" certification for the manner in which they prepare fresh organic foods.

    The store will also be built greener. "We're aiming for LEED certification with this store, and our goal is to make our store more 'green,' reducing our impact on the environment," Publix said.

    The format will offer so-called "exceptional merchandise," with specialty areas featuring fine wines, cheeses from around the world, and body-care products.

    Its staffing will feature special expertise. In every department, experts will be at the ready to answer questions, make suggestions, and help make the shopping experience the best it can be, Publix said.

    In addition to the Palm Beach Gardens store, Publix will open Publix GreenWise Markets in Boca Raton, Tampa, and Vero Beach, Florida in the "not-too-distant future," the company said.

    Earlier this year Publix also mentioned Naples and Coral Springs as target markets for GreenWise. It said it will convert several existing Publix conventional stores to the format.

    Publix has been recruiting new employees for the Palm Beach Gardens unit. Job openings advertised on chain's Web site include Prepared Foods Team Leader, which should be filled by "someone who also has restaurant experience, particularly in an upscale casual environment with scratch/ala minute cooking"; Wine Specialist; Artisan Cheese Specialist; Personal Care Specialist (product expert on vitamins, supplements, and body care products); and Prepared Foods Specialist.

    Publix first announced its plans to develop the stand-alone GreenWise concept in May 2005.

    In other Publix news, the retailer is reportedly creating a smaller prototype for the Fort Lauderdale market. Fort Lauderdale-based Moss & Associates, a construction management and design-build firm, said a construction project is underway to build a 28,000-square-foot, two-story Publix Supermarket. It will be the redevelopment of an outdated Publix located at the corner of Davie Blvd and SW 35th Ave in Fort Lauderdale.

    The store, which is the eighth recent project Moss has done for Publix, will serve as a prototype for the leading Florida grocer, according to the developer. The prototype, which sits atop three acres, will have customer sales and food preparation areas on the first floor, with store offices, break rooms, and equipment on the second floor.

    The store is slated to open this November.

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