Publix Super Markets intends to open a smaller-format store in Longwood, Fla., that will be focused on delivery, according to a published report.
Talks are underway to redevelop a former church into the new store, which will measure less than 30,000 square feet – about half the size of the grocer’s typical stores – and have a specialized pickup area for grocery deliveries, as well as an adjacent Publix Liquor store, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The newspaper noted that the new format could also incorporate some features of Publix’s GreenWise banner, which carries organic and natural fare, citing Longwood Economic Development Manager Tom Krueger. Originally introduced a decade ago, the GreenWise concept will “reignite,” as company officials put it, with two new locations, in Tallahassee, Fla., and Mount Pleasant, S.C.
When contacted for comment by Progressive Grocer, however, Dwaine Stevens, Publix's media and communications manager, denied that the proposed store was a break with previous formats, although he confirmed its smaller size. "This neighborhood Publix will be a traditional 28,000-square-foot nonprototypical facility," Stevens noted. "We opened similar locations in downtown St. Pete, Gainesville and Pensacola that have been wildly embraced by residents in the area."
The move is seen by industry observers as the grocer’s attempt to compete with the booming ecommerce businesses of Amazon, Walmart and Target, the last of which recently teamed up with Shipt to offer one-day delivery in the Orlando area.Publix has partnered with San Francisco-based Instacart on grocery delivery.