In hopes that better customer service will win over Richmond consumers, Publix is making an even bigger splash into the Richmond grocery scene than originally indicated.
Initially, the Florida-based, employee-owned grocery chain purchased 10 of the 19 area Martin's stores that were required by the Federal Trade Commission to be sold as a part of the merger of the parent companies of Martin's and Food Lion. Then, Publix built a new store from the ground up at Nuckols Place in western Henrico County. The store opened in July.
Publix also began renovations of some of the 10 former Martin's stores. The first renovated store to open, CrossRidge on Staples Mill in Henrico County, opened later in July.
Two more former Martin's stores opened shortly thereafter, one in John Rolfe Commons and one in White Oak Village, both in Henrico County, with the latter being in the eastern portion of the County.
In September, Publix purchased the former Martin's building on Forest Hill Avenue in the City of Richmond, upping its Martin's store purchases to a total of 11.
October rolled around and Publix opened stores in Virginia Center Marketplace and Short Pump Crossing. Both are in Henrico County, with the former being in the northern portion of the County.
Next, Publix announced that it would build another store from the ground up at Brandy Creek Commons in Hanover County, again extending its local footprint.
Publix kicked off November by branching southward and opening another renovated store in Colonial Heights on November 1. On November 4, Publix will open its Harbour Pointe Shopping Center location, another former Martin's store.
Just prior to the November 4 store opening, Publix purchased 6 acres for $1.9 million just 3 miles west of the Harbour Pointe Shopping Center for a new development to be called Cosby Village. It announced that it would build a new 50,000 square foot store to anchor the development.
No timetables have been announced for the conversion of the former Martin's stores at The Village Shopping Center, straddling the Henrico County and City of Richmond line, or at Richmond Shopping Center in Carytown.
Rumor has it that the Carytown Martin's store (and perhaps others in the same shopping center) will be demolished, with the new Publix to be fronting much closer to Cary Street, perhaps with a parking deck to be constructed on the Ellwood Avenue side of the shopping center to serve the grocery store.
Clearly, Publix is determined to make its mark on the Richmond grocery market. Stay tuned for updates!