- Publix is expanding its GreenWise market concept to three additional cities including Odessa, Florida; Nocatee (Ponte Vedra Beach), Florida and Lexington, South Carolina.
- The new stores will feature a variety of different products and services, including its organic and natural GreenWise private label line, a beverage bar with kombucha, locally roasted coffee, wine, local beer and smoothies. In addition, the stores will offer gourmet treats, body care, bulk items and unique local products.
- The company first opened its GreenWise market in Tallahassee, Florida, last October. Other locations that have been announced to open this summer or later this year include Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; Lakeland, Florida; Boca Raton, Florida; Marietta, Georgia; Mountain Brook, Alabama and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The grocer said it will continue to seek other locations for expansion.
Florida’s prized grocer Publix is keeping up with trends with its small-format, food-focused store and fending off competition in its home state.
With its GreenWise markets, Publix is targeting a new generation of shoppers that prioritizes unique offerings and convenient, organic and sustainable food. Often, these shoppers are millennials. Florida, which is well known for its many retirement communities, has seen an influx of millennials in major cities over the past few years. In fact, Jacksonville, Florida, a neighboring city of Ponte Vedra, is one of the top 10 cities where consumers aged 20 to 34 are moving, according to financial technology company SmartAsset. Columbia, South Carolina, a city near Lexington, was ranked number two on the same list.
It’s also important to note that Odessa, Ponte Vedra and Lexington are near major college campuses. It wasn’t long ago that Publix opened a 28,000 square-foot store at the University of South Florida’s campus in Tampa, a 30-minute drive to Odessa.
Other small, organic food-focused retailers targeting these consumers have gained momentum in Florida as well. In July, Sprouts Farmers Market operated five stores in the state and announced the opening of stores in seven additional cities. Cult favorite Trader Joe’s has also seen a gap in natural and organic, small scale stores and since 2015 has been creeping up on Publix’s territory. And then there's Aldi, which has more than a dozen stores in Orlando and a growing presence throughout the Sunshine State.
As the perimeter of the store continues to grow 3% to 5%, grocers are looking for ways to reduce costs and boost profit margins. The answer to this? Grocers scaling down to focus on fresh foods often found at the perimeter of the store, which increases productivity and decreases rent and other costs associated with large stores. Publix’s GreenWise brand, which focuses on natural, organic food and a range of freshly prepared items and grocerant meals, follows similar scaled-down efforts from the likes of Hy-Vee and Meijer as retailers seek new ways to stay relevant with their shoppers.