Publix to Open in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets has purchased two former Bi-Lo store locations in Murfreesboro, Tenn. -- a move that puts the regional retailer in a new Tennessee market.

The two parties completed contract negotiations on Dec. 29, and remodel construction on the two stores is set to begin this February. The stores are 41,572 square feet and 46,624 square feet.

Grand opening for both locations is scheduled for early second quarter 2007.

"With 14 store locations currently in Tennessee, Murfreesboro is a natural progression in our expansion in the Tennessee market,' said Brenda Reid, manager of media and community relations for the company's Atlanta Division, in a statement.

As reported by Progressive Grocer, Bi-Lo said in mid-December it was closing the stores because they were low-performing and are not in the chain's core markets. "Last year we announced our strategic plan to focus our resources on core markets within our trade area," said John Symons, e.v.p. of store operations, in a statement. "It is a difficult decision to close a store, but in the long term, maintaining our focus will strengthen our business."

Publix operates 889 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee.
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