- Publix Supermarkets announced the opening of its new GreenWise Market store in Boca Raton, according to a news release. Nearly 11 years after Publix first introduced the format, this will be the fourth GreenWise Market store in the retailer's relaunch. The opening date has not been announced.
The new concept stores are around 10,000 square feet smaller than the first generation of Publix GreenWise stores. Additional locations will open in Tallahassee, Florida in October, and next year in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and Lakeland, Florida.
- “The new GreenWise Market concept features a simplified environment designed to show off our unique and house-made offerings. We believe our customers will appreciate our curated selection,” said Kevin Murphy, Publix senior vice president of retail operations, in a press release.
Publix joins the list of grocers opening stand-alone market stores to serve consumers looking for quick-trip groceries and healthy foods. The GreenWise concept has been shelved for more than a decade, and its relaunch could be a result of growing competition in Florida.
Stand-alone markets can help a large retailer focus in on a specific range of products to sell to consumers, gain insight, test new programs and products, and attract new customers. The grocer can use the market to help its private label brand, also known as GreenWise, create its own identity without the Publix name attached. Smaller store formats can also fit better into larger cities that have smaller spaces available.
Many other supermarkets have adopted this idea and opened their own smaller-scale market stores focused on natural and organic products. Last week, Hy-Vee opened its first HealthMarket store, focused on healthy living by incorporating its HealthMarket sections into a market with a pharmacy, medical clinic, and a door leading to an Orangetheory gym. Late last year, Albertsons tested out its first “express” convenience store featuring on-trend offerings like craft beer, wine, prepared foods, healthy options, and the grocer’s private label food products.
Although Publix first launched its GreenWise Market concept long before other grocers opened theirs, it’s interesting they waited until now to expand to more stores. The grocer is facing a lot of pressure in its home state of Florida, which it once dominated. Florida is a grocery hotspot, experiencing a 6% increase in grocery store square footage, while the rest of the state had 29% fewer store openings, according to real estate firm JLL. In April, Walmart announced its plans to renovate 82 stores and open 14 new locations across Texas and Florida. Kroger, which hasn’t operated in Florida since 1988, purchased real estate in the Sunshine State to house a Lucky’s Market — which it has a partnership with.
Publix’s GreenWise Market has a similar format to Lucky’s Market, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods 365 stores and Sprouts Farmers Market. The market will serve as a destination for healthy, on-the-go consumers making quick grocery trips for natural and organic products. The grocer always tests its new projects in its home state and has yet to expand past the Southeast, but smaller scale health-focused stores tend to perform best in larger cities — so perhaps the format could make an appearance elsewhere in the not-so-distant future.