- Publix is transitioning the eight locations under its small-format GreenWise Market banner over to its traditional supermarket brand, a Publix spokesperson wrote in an email.
- The move comes after the supermarket chain found that its customers like aspects of the specialty banner but within the more traditional setting.
- The Publix spokesperson said the company will also integrate some elements of its GreenWise locations, such as its Publix Pours in-store bar area, into its new store prototype.
With only eight locations, GreenWise accounted for a fraction of Publix’s larger footprint of roughly 1,300 stores. But its utility as a testing lab for new concepts far outweighed its size.
Publix spokesperson Maria Brous said Publix has gained key insights from GreenWise stores, and plans to incorporate some of those into its new supermarket store model.
“We have several learnings from our PGWM concept, and some of those will be applied to our new 55.3 prototype, as space permits,” she wrote. “For example, our POURS section which you may have seen in our new store at Gandy Shopping Center in Tampa, Florida.”
Brous said that each GreenWise location will transition over to the Publix brands separately “based on various factors related to the project.”
Publix first debuted GreenWise Market in 2007 under the name Publix GreenWise Market to take on competitors in the natural and organic food space, such as Whole Foods Market. In 2018, Publix relaunched its GreenWise banner with the opening of a store in Tampa’s Hyde Park area, but less than a year later, the grocer said it would transition the Hyde Park location into a traditional supermarket.
The GreenWise banner generated more foot traffic at every location in Florida throughout 2022 on a year-over-year basis while visits to Publix’s traditional supermarkets in the state have declined by the same measure, per findings from data analysis firm Placer.ai. The firm also noted that shoppers tend to stay at GreenWise stores longer than the traditional ones.
Those results were evidently not enough, however, to keep the GreenWise store name afloat. With this, Publix joins chains like Whole Foods, Kroger and Stop & Shop in shuttering small-format stores that were launched as learning labs — but also as banners that could potentially scale to meet opportunities with urban markets, young consumers and more.
Other grocers, such as Schnuck Markets, have continued experimenting with banners focused on natural and organic foods, including its EatWell and Fresh locations. Last summer, Schnucks melded its Express and Eatwell formats together for a store in Columbia, Missouri, offering shoppers both more traditional grocery items and a specialty assortment.
Meijer has also built grocery stores and supermarkets with footprints that are smaller than its legacy supercenters, while Lowes Foods recently opened an innovation-focused small-format store in Huntersville, North Carolina.