SEMINOLE, Fla. -- The Publix Super Markets chain has been slow in its entry into the convenience store channel, but the employee-owned chain opened its seventh Pix convenience store in Seminole, Fla., this month amid rumors that it will double or even triple its c-store presence in the near future.
Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations, however, says the rumors are off base and that at best the company may open one more c-store in the next year. We are evaluating new sites, as with everything we do, she told CSP Daily News, but [image-nocss] have no current plans for additional sites.
The opening of a 160-square-foot kiosk Pix site raised the total of the grocery giant's 6-year-old c-store presence to seven. The Lakeland, Fla.-based chain of 879 grocery stores in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, opened a pair of 1,200-square-foot Pix stores in 2001, a second pair of 4,000-square-foot Pix sites in 2002, a 160-square-foot Pix in 2004 and a 1,989-square-foot Pix in 2005.
All the sites are in Florida and all sell gasoline. Two have six islands with two pumps apiece; the others four and eight. All are in outlots of Publix grocery stores.
Brous said Publix is cautious about growing into the c-store channel simply because that's the company's way. She said one more opening in the next year is possible, and says the rumors from two prominent Florida retail sources of multiple Pix openings are untrue.
It takes us time to plan everything, she said. If you talk to any of the industry leaders, they will tell you that we're not a retailer that would rush into any market.
One of the largest two Pix sites includes a car wash, while both the 4,000-footers have custom sub stations manned by dedicated sandwich-making employees. The other locations get fresh-made grab-and-go items from their partner grocery stores brought over daily, according to Brous. The two largest Pix serve Publix private-label goods.