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Publix is doing away with GreenWise-branded stores

The Lakeland chain will transition its GreenWise stores to the traditional Publix brand.


  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 9:15 a.m. May 20, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Publix opened a GreenWise store in the Water Street Tampa development in 2021.
Publix opened a GreenWise store in the Water Street Tampa development in 2021.
Courtesy photo
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Publix Super Markets is doing away with its GreenWise Market brand.

A company spokesperson confirmed Friday that the chain will convert all its existing GreenWise stores into traditional Publix stores. The company did not provide a timeline for the transition.

The Lakeland grocery store behemoth operates eight stores under the brand, including one each in Lakeland and Tampa.

“Our customers’ shopping habits have reinforced they enjoy the attributes of a Publix GreenWise Market location, but within their traditional Publix shopping setting,” the spokesperson said in the email.

The first GreenWise store opened in in Tallahassee in 2018 specializing in organic, natural and specialty groceries. Along with the healthier offerings, the branded stores pioneered the chain’s Pours concept which provided a gathering spot for shoppers that served coffee and alcohol.

In 2021, Publix opened a GreenWise store in the Water Street Tampa development. At the time, the arrival was seen as a triumph for the project with developers describing it as a “vital amenity” and reflecting the “vision of creating a holistic lifestyle by prioritizing access to products that promote health and wellness.”

The company began working on a natural foods concept in 2007, but instead chose to integrate the products into its traditional stores, according to a 2022 report from Placer.ai, which studies foot traffic at retail locations.

Once it did launch GreenWise, the smaller stores — which average 26,000 square feet — proved popular.

The report, Going Big by Going Small: The Benefit of Small-Store Formats, found that in September 2022 visits to GreenWise stores were up 6.4%, while Publix stores saw visits fall 3.9%. Not only that, but shoppers also seemed to stay longer. The average visit to the GreenWise in Ponte Vedra was 30 minutes, while three nearby Publix stores saw average visits of 27, 24 and 26 minutes, the report says.

“By using the small-format concept, Publix is setting GreenWise apart and offering customers a premium grocery experience without impacting the wider Publix brand,” the report’s authors wrote.

Publix, which offers shares to employees and releases earnings reports but is not publicly traded, did not break out sales at GreenWise locations in its first quarter earnings report released May 1. Overall sales, though, rose 8.2% to $14.3 billion when compared with the first quarter of last year. Same store sales were up 6.4%.

 

author

Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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