Thursday, August 6, 2020

[ALERT] Publix Shutters Two GreenWise Market Stores, Atlanta Store Safe For Now

In a surprise move, Publix announced Tuesday that it will permanently close two of its nine GreenWise Market stores.  The Lakeland, Florida-based grocer's announcement comes less than two months after it opened its first Atlanta area GreenWise Market at the new Sandy Plains Marketplace in East Cobb.  The two stores the company plans to close are both in South Carolina: one in Lexington, and the other in Mount Pleasant.  

Both stores were originally to be The Fresh Market locations, but never actually opened as the Greensboro-based grocer. The 21,535 square foot GreenWise in Mount Pleasant anchors Indigo Square shopping center and opened last May.  The slightly smaller 21,400 square foot Lexington store opened in Lexington Marketplace this past December. [German grocer Lidl has already opened in one former Atlanta area Fresh Market store  (Brookhaven), and will soon open in another (East Cobb.)]

“We have made the difficult decision to close both GreenWise Market locations in South Carolina.” Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous said late Tuesday.  “Both locations were acquisitions that fit our needs at the time of opening.” she said. “However, as our concept has evolved, the locations have space constraints that will not fit our current vision for GreenWise Markets.”

This sudden about face is especially puzzling when you consider that just this past December Publix President Kevin Murphy indicated he and his GreenWise team were "very excited to bring this new shopping experience to Lexington and the greater Columbia community.” 

The company indicated that there are no plans to reopen either store as a traditional Publix store or to reopen the GreenWise stores in larger spaces in the same markets. (Whole Foods converted nearly all of their 365 stores to flagship Whole Foods Market stores when they abandoned their off-shoot concept including two in metro Atlanta.)  

Both GreenWise stores will close as of 7 PM on August 29.  

The GreenWise in East Cobb is just over 25,000 square feet, and while still larger than the two closing stores, is smaller than other GreenWise locations such as the ones in Mountain Brook, Alabama (28,000 square feet), Tallahassee, Florida (29,000 square feet) and Boca Raton, Florida (27,750 square feet), among others.  

Bisnow reported January 28 that Orkin & Associates, the real estate investment arm of the Orkin family, purchased the 73,000 square foot Sandy Plains Marketplace for $43.8M from Fuqua Development.   At $600 per square foot, it is reportedly one of the most expensive shopping center sales in Metro Atlanta's history.  The sales prices was no doubt driven by the long term lease Publix signed for their space.  

We visited the new East Cobb GreenWise on day one and found the store unspectacular.  Sources have told ToNeTo Atlanta that the store has been just OK traffic-wise in the weeks since.   If Publix were to decide to close in East Cobb, too, it would be devastating for the center, as numerous small shop tenants reportedly have "co-tenancy clauses" linked to GreenWise anchoring the center.  

Elsewhere in East Cobb, building plans suggest that Publix is finally moving forward with their planned store at East Cobb Crossing Shopping Center.  Here, at the corner of Roswell and Johnson Ferry Roads, Publix will occupy a 36,563 square foot space in the remaining portion of the former kmart not taken by Dick's Sporting Goods.  This store, as well as another planned for Ashford Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody, were both previously planned as GreenWise Market stores, according to sources familiar with the grocer's plans.   

Have you been to the new GreenWise Market in East Cobb?  Would you be surprised if Publix closed their GreenWise Market in East Cobb?  What is your current go-to grocery store?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

If it does close, I could actually see a TJ or something going in it's place. While there is one on the other end of JFR (near the new publix), that or a another chain could go in there.

The shopping center is actually in a decent spot, but it is hard to see the tenants if you don't see the sign.

CloseOTP said...

Unfortunately TJs has shown no interest in expanding in the Atlanta market. I'm just happy the stores that have opened have stayed open!

Anonymous said...

That shopping center is a loser! Great location poor execution! It's hard to get in and out of and the Panda Express should have a drive-thru. Greenwise the back nobody can see it. ANYTHING built by fuckqua (Fuqua) is a looser. Man is old his designs are old and the shopping center already looks dated. No imagination waste of space. Could have been so much better. Trader Joe's would not be interested in that space. I believe Lidl once had an interest and that area so expect that to happen if GreenWise goes out.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...