- Publix on Thursday broke ground on its first location in Louisville, Kentucky, putting the supermarket chain a step closer to beginning operations in the state, according to a press release from the retailer. The store will mark Publix’s Kentucky debut and is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023.
- The Florida-based grocer also announced it has signed a lease for a store in Lexington, Kentucky, that is expected to open in late 2024.
- Publix’s upcoming expansion into Kentucky heightens the rivalry between the grocer and Kroger, which has a robust presence in the state and is building an online-only presence in Publix’s home state of Florida.
Publix’s new store in Louisville will be the first of two locations the chain intends to open in the city during the coming years as it establishes roots in Kentucky.
The retailer revealed plans to build its inaugural Kentucky supermarket in September, shortly before disclosing its intention to open a second Louisville location during the first quarter of 2024. The Louisville Publix stores, along with the newly announced Lexington location, will each occupy about 55,700 square feet and include a drive-thru pharmacy.
The three supermarkets will each sit next to a 3,200-square-foot Publix Liquors store, according to Publix. The retailer noted the alcoholic beverage store adjacent to its first Louisville supermarket will be the first Publix Liquors store outside Florida.
Publix’s store in Lexington will be located in The Fountains at Palomar, a new development at Man O’ War Boulevard and Harrodsburg Road. That will place it right across the road from a Walmart, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
Publix’s decision to broaden its reach into Kentucky brings added competition to the state’s grocery market, where chains including Kroger, Aldi and Meijer already operate stores. In February, Hy-Vee confirmed that it, too, would enter the state, starting with a 150,000-square-foot location in Louisville tentatively set to open in 2023.
Publix is also locking horns with Kroger in its stronghold of Florida, where Kroger has started offering grocery delivery service in several regions using its network of automated fulfillment centers.
Kentucky marks the eighth state for Publix’s footprint. The chain also does business in Florida — where more than half of its approximately 1,300 stores are located — Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.