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    Sweet Sales for Sweetbay at Newest Unit

    TAMPA, Fla. -- Sweetbay Supermarket recently set a single day sales record at its newest store in The Villages, Fla., the company said yesterday. While the company wouldn't release the sales figures, spokeswoman Nicole LeBeau told Progressive Grocer there were "5,500 paying customers" at the store on grand opening day, Oct. 27.

    TAMPA, Fla. -- Sweetbay Supermarket recently set a single day sales record at its newest store in The Villages, Fla., the company said yesterday. While the company wouldn't release the sales figures, spokeswoman Nicole LeBeau told Progressive Grocer there were "5,500 paying customers" at the store on grand opening day, Oct. 27.

    The grand opening performance exceeded the company's previous record by 23 percent. That record was set at its very first store in Seminole (Pinellas County).

    The new 50,000-square-foot supermarket is located in a very hot market, according to the retailer.

    "The Villages is such a dynamic market that the company is considering additional expansion opportunities," said Shelley Broader, president and c.e.o. of Sweetbay, in a statement.

    Since opening its first store in 2004, the Tampa-based supermarket chain now operates nearly 100 Sweetbay stores in Florida. In advance of unveiling Sweetbay as a supermarket brand in 2004, Broader said, the company completed a considerable amount of market research that included focus groups composed of central Florida residents.

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