Saturday, November 13, 2021

[EXCLUSIVE] Publix to Shutter GreenWise Market Store in Atlanta

After making its Atlanta debut last June, Publix has decided to pull the plug on its GreenWise Market banner in East Cobb.  The roughly 25,000 square foot store anchored the new Sandy Plains MarketPlace shopping center at the corner of Shallowford Road and Sandy Plains Road.  The store, meant to be Publix's answer to Whole Foods Market and The Fresh Market, stocked a wider variety of natural, organic and "better for you" offerings than a typical Publix in addition to fresh-made burritos, sushi, acai bowls, smoothies, and pizza. 

Orkin & Associates bought the new GreenWise Market-anchored 73,000 square foot center for $43.8 million in January 2020 calling it "bulletproof."   At $600 per square foot, it was reportedly one of the most expensive shopping center sales in metro Atlanta's history.  The closure of the GreenWise Market store leaves a gaping hole in the center.  

ToNeTo Atlanta visited the store several times and while it was beautiful, well-merchandised and provided for a pleasurable shopping experience, the store almost always seemed to have more staff than shoppers.

According to employees at GreenWise Market, news of the closure caught many off guard, with the store expected to cease operations as of December 11.  

On November 10, Publix opened a new store at East Cobb Crossing.  The store was originally planned to be a GreenWise Market but the company opted to open it as a traditional Publix store, incorporating select features from the healthy banner such as an increased variety of prepared foods as well as some design and layout elements.  

Following the closure of the GreenWise Market in East Cobb, Publix will continue to operate eight GreenWise Market stores including seven in Florida and a single unit in Mountain Brook, an upscale community in Birmingham, Alabama.  An eighth Florida area GreenWise Market is expected to open soon in St. Augustine.  Publix last August, closed GreenWise Market stores in Lexington and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.  

Despite abandoning the GreenWise banner in metro Atlanta, Publix does have plans to open more than a dozen new stores in the greater metro Atlanta market over the next 12-24 months.  Earlier this month Publix opened a new store on East Ponce de Leon Avenue near Decatur with other imminent store openings slated for Tucker, Dunwoody, and Chamblee, among others.   

Are you surprised to see Publix close its GreenWise Market store in East Cobb?  Did your shopping habits change when the GreenWise Market store opened?  What would you like to see replace GreenWise Market in East Cobb?

Please share your thoughts below. 

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

No surprise here. We were there yesterday (Saturday) for the wine and cheese pairing event and the $5 gift card. Lots of people in the store tasting wine but very few actually buying anything.

Anonymous said...

Sad! I'm a fan of this store. Pizza good. Wings good. Kombucha bar awesome! Location? What were they thinking? No one can see it! No one knows it was there! Location location location! Also I hate the original developer. They should have opened Greenwise in the East Cobb area off Johnson ferry road. Instead of the one they did. The new mini Publix is nothing special. Greenwise would have done better in this location. Easy parking and visible to traffic. Bad move Publix!

Unknown said...

Very sad. We converted from whole food and love Greenwise. Just need to promote this store better vs closing door.

Gshickler said...

Very upset vegetarian over here. It had fresh options and was closer than the high prices of whole foods.

Anonymous said...

Terrible location and the marketing was not enough to get people in the doors.
I am truly disappointed in Publix for not planning better and now it's gone. Sad

Anonymous said...

You could miss the store easily because it had no curb appeal on top of that hill. Patsy M., East Cobb

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised they have stores in Atlanta....

Kitster said...

Alright LIDL, now you got your chance. Giddy up.

Anonymous said...

My money is on LIDL or Aldi backfilling this box quickly.

Anonymous said...

My money is on LIDL or Aldi, backfilling this box quickly.

Anonymous said...

It was in East Cobb. They could care less about food philosophy. Midtown Atlanta or Decater would have worked.
How about they come up with a small store concept that can bring fresh food to food desert areas?

Anonymous said...

It's nothing to do with East Cobb... East Cobb area has multiple Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Fresh Market around that all have done well. Publix messed this one up with poor planning. Midtown and Decatur would not have worked if it had the same poor planning/marketing launch of this one, it would have been the same fate.

Also nice "cliche" about East Cobb... plenty of foodies live in East Cobb.

Anonymous said...

Very poorly promoted. I agree the demographic in this area is not right for this kind of market. Would’ve worked in Buckhead for sure. I really thought it was awesome though. Always empty. This place was losing money from day 1. Always more employees than shoppers. Most people probably didn’t even know it was there its completely hidden from the street. The whole design of this shopping center was horrible.

Unknown said...

Please shop at our publix.

Ira Katz said...

We live in LaVista Park / Brookhaven and would drive out there occasionallWry as we knew it is a cut above. My sentiments with all most of the commentary here.
Since I'm involved in commercial real estate and land assemblage, the first thing I said to my wife was this is not going to make it. ABSOLUTELY the worst location for this type of store AND even worse visuals as people race down the street. Really? What was the site development person thinking? Must not be from Atlanta. They should have started in-town or close in, built up a brand / following and then expand. Wrong market dynamic. Sad to see it go.

Unknown said...

Sad to see it go. Loved the Pizza. Best in East Cobb. I hope Trader Joe's moves in to the space. Lidl would be my second choice. Even Whole Foods isn't what it once was due to Covid.

Anonymous said...

Will not miss it!

Anonymous said...

I buy mostly organic and natural foods. I have been to the Greenwise market only once. I felt like I was in a Whole Foods without all the customers. Publix has not been competitive with organic pricing. I get better deals at Sprouts, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. I would love to see a Trader Joe's or Sprouts move into this location.

Unknown said...

Trader Joe's! Trader Joe's!!

Lizz Z said...

Me too. I love shopping at Greenwise very convenient, smaller store to quickly run in and out! It's not visible to the public, keep it open and market it!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see it go, but there were never many shoppers in it. You have to know it is there since you can’t see it from the street.I hope Trader Joe’s comes in.

Anonymous said...

Too bad, we enjoyed this store. It was in a bad location where no one knew it was there and marketed poorly. Too bad the new East Cobb Crossing store is not a GreenWise, we already have too many Publix in the area, but having a more prominent and visible GreenWise would have been welcome. Really sad for the employees as they were some of the best customer service I have seen compared to any Publix. Looks like we are back to Whole Foods and Kroger.

Anonymous said...

Super store and excellent staff. Shopping there was a breeze but I had to pass several other stores in the area.

As noted by others it sat on a hill not much street visibility.

I believe a better location for would have been Midtown.

Hopefully all of the staff will be transferred to other stores.

Jml813 said...

It will be unlikely that trader Joe's opens another location that close since they already have one in East Cobb.

Unknown said...

I love this store. I am very sad to hear they are closing it down.

singletongirl said...

There were items in that store that you could get at a regular Publix but for more money. It was overpriced.

singletongirl said...

There were items in that store that you could get at a regular Publix but for more money. It was overpriced.

singletongirl said...

There were items in that store that you could get at a regular Publix but for more money. It was overpriced.

Russ said...

Terrible take lol

Anonymous said...

The new Publix in Dunnwoody Georgia literally by car there’s another one two minutes away in one direction three minutes away in another direction five minutes away in another direction and they’re building a new one at six minutes away and Chamblee. It would be great if the dunwoody store were to be a greenwise

Manhattan Muse said...

Trader Joes!!

Anonymous said...

I KNEW MARIETTA WAS THE WRONG PLACE - REALLY POOR LOCATION - NO ONE KNEW IT WAS THERE. HARD TO FIND. AT LEAST 29 MILES FROM ME. I STILL WENT OCCASIONALLY. I LOVED THE GREENWISE IN LAKELAND WHEN I LIVED THERE.

THIS WOULD BE A GREAT LOCATION: WINDEREMERE COMMUNITY IS A WONDERFUL COMMUNITY IN CUMMING, GA. JUST OFF OF 400 AT EXIT 13. CUMMING , GA CLOSE TO n ALPHARETTA, LAKE LANIER AND GROWING SURRENDING AREAS. WE HAVE A LOT OF ORGANIC SHOPPERS AND THERE IS NOTHING UP THIS WAY. I WOULD BE THERE ALMOST EVERYDAY AND IT WOULD BE REALLY BUSY. THE WORD WOULD GET OUT ABOUT A GREENWISE UP THIS WAY.

OFF OF 400 EXIT 10 THERE IS AN AMAZON WHOLE PAYCHECK STORE. DON'T LIKE SHOPPING THERE. NOTHING ELSE CLOSE BY. https://www.mapquest.com/us/georgia/windermere-community-associates-372392390

Anonymous said...

Bummer. This was a nice store and Publix has made it a complete customer nightmare to find healthy foods, by mixing them with everything else. Terrible decision, but back to TJ...

Anonymous said...

MARIETTA - REALLY POOR LOCATION - NO ONE KNEW IT WAS THERE. HARD TO FIND. AT LEAST 29 MILES FROM ME. I STILL WENT OCCASIONALLY. I LOVED THE GREENWISE IN LAKELAND WHEN I LIVED THERE.

THIS WOULD BE A GREAT LOCATION: WINDEREMERE COMMUNITY IS A WONDERFUL COMMUNITY IN CUMMING, GA. JUST OFF OF 400 AT EXIT 13. CUMMING , GA CLOSE TO n ALPHARETTA, LAKE LANIER AND GROWING SURRENDING AREAS. WE HAVE A LOT OF ORGANIC SHOPPERS AND THERE IS NOTHING UP THIS WAY. I WOULD BE THERE ALMOST EVERYDAY AND IT WOULD BE REALLY BUSY. THE WORD WOULD GET OUT ABOUT A GREENWISE UP THIS WAY.

OFF OF 400 EXIT 10 THERE IS AN AMAZON WHOLE PAYCHECK STORE. DON'T LIKE SHOPPING THERE. NOTHING ELSE CLOSE BY. https://www.mapquest.com/us/georgia/windermere-community-associates-372392390

Anonymous said...

You wont see another grocery store of any kind opening in that location for at least 20 years. That Publix expects to lose less money paying rent on an empty building than continuing to operate means they must have been losing a lot of money at this store. Given the other stores they operate nearby, there is zero chance Publix will allow another grocery store to open in that location. They will pay rent on a vacant store for the next 20 years, or they and the owner will try to find a new anchor tenant that does not compete with Publix, which is an uphill battle. The community loses a place to shop, the neighboring tenants lose the customer traffic they counted on when they chose to open next to Greenwise, the new owners of the property lose since they paid a record price for the shopping center that just had a dramatic drop in value. Bad all the way around.

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