Publix to Launch New Natural Food Format in '06

LAKELAND, Fla. -- On the heels of its debut of a Hispanic-focused format, Publix Super Markets here is launching another specialty concept, this one centered on natural foods. The store will carry the banner GreenWise, a name that Publix has used in its store-within-a-store natural/organic sections, as well as atop private label line and branded magazine.

During a store manager's meeting earlier this week, Publix said two GreenWise stores will be opened next year in the Miami division, according to spokeswoman Maria Brous.

The GreenWise format will feature expanded offerings in health and wellness categories. Publix declined to provide further details about the new retail concept, and would not disclose plans for additional GreenWise openings.

"This prototype will be designed to meet the needs of our customers who are interested in natural foods," said c.e.o. Charlie Jenkins Jr., in a statement. "With this prototype, Publix will be able to better reach this growing segment of our customers."

One of the new GreenWise units in the Miami market is a ground-up store going into Legacy Place, a 469,000-square-foot outdoor mixed-use center being built on PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens. According to The Sembler Company, a shopping center developer based in St. Petersburg, Fla., that Publix is working with, the GreenWise store will share the center with banners that include Best Buy, Linens 'n Things, Barnes & Noble, Loehmann's, Arhaus, Ethan Allen, Total Wine, and Michael's, as well as restaurants including T.G.I.F's and Chili's.

The second GreenWise store, a remodel of an existing Publix unit, will open sometime in 2006 in Boca Raton, according to Publix' Brous.

Earlier this year, Publix rolled out a new Hispanic-focused concept called Publix Sabor, in Kissimmee, Fla. Its second Sabor unit is slated to open in Hialeah, which is near Miami, later this month.
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