First look: downtown Fort Lauderdale’s new Publix GreenWise Market

Date : 10 February 2021

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Following the launch of the format in 2018, Publix has opened the eighth location of its GreenWise Market format. We look inside this store, which is the first to be developed by the retailer as part of a high-rise development in a downtown location.

Downtown location

The store is located on the ground floor of The Main Las Olas building in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The retailer has taken the key elements of the format and adapted them for this location. While this opening takes the chain to eight stores, last year it closed two newly opened locations. These were acquired sites which were too small for the retailer’s new vision for the format.

 

Source: Publix

Publix is one of the largest food retailers in the US. It operates over 1,200 supermarkets across seven states, the majority of which are in Florida. Last year, annual revenue was $38.1bn. In 2018 it launched this format, GreenWise Market, developed on the pillars of convenience and healthy living.

Source: Publix

At 27,758 sq ft, this store is smaller than most supermarkets in the US, including the core Publix format. It features a bright and contemporary design. Polished concrete floors, full-height, open ceilings and wood and metal fixtures are punctuated with bright, food-inspired graphics. The store takes a unique approach to the layout. It features a series of “experience zones” with simpler names. These include ‘Eats’, ‘Finds’ and ‘Pours’.

Source: Publix

The concept has been centred on creating an experience for shoppers and developing a space where they dwell longer, compared to a conventional grocery store. Within the ‘EATS’ area, it offers made-to-order meals and grab and go foods like handcrafted gourmet sandwiches and freshly baked pizza.

Source: Publix

The retailer has set out to create a unique shopping experience, placing an emphasis on natural, organic and specialty items and providing shoppers with creative meal solutions. In ‘FINDS’, it offers a curated selection of wines and imported cheeses.

Source: Publix

In ‘CUTS’, the offer comprises of meats raised with no antibiotics or added hormones, and sustainably sourced seafood.

Source: Publix

Around 60% of the space is dedicated to fresh and foodservice departments. The traditional ‘centre store’ is smaller, with a focus on a curated range of specialty and organic items. A similar approach is taken within its ‘CARES’ department where it offers a range of vitamins, nutritional supplements, natural soaps and shampoos.

Source: Publix

Our view

GreenWise Market enables Publix to target a fast-growing segment of the market that others have found challenging, through optimising its scale. The exit and retrenchment of smaller operators in the natural, organic and specialty segment, provides an opportunity for Publix. The format also provides learnings that can be applied to the retailer’s core proposition. As the new chain starts to gain scale, expansion could also be driven through converting existing Publix stores in relevant catchments. Conversions could also provide the retailer with an opportunity to downsize existing stores and repurpose space to support ecommerce growth.

Retail Analysis subscribers: outlined in our report, North America retail outlook 2021, we highlight five key trends set to shape the North American retail marklet this year, including creating a new store experience.

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