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Publix To Open Starbucks Kiosk; Two New Downtown Stores


Grocery shoppers in South Tampa will have something new to look forward to later this year.

Publix Supermarkets Inc. will open its first Starbucks kiosk at their West Gandy Boulevard store.

They plan to open more in the future.

Ashley Kritzer, a reporter with the Tampa Bay Business Journal, said with the number of specialty grocers coming to the Tampa Bay area, the Lakeland-based chain is trying to stay ahead of competition.

“Publix has always done a very good job of appealing to that middle market shopper and that’s what’s getting harder and harder to do,” she said. “That’s why you’re seeing things like the Starbucks kiosk, you’re seeing more prepared foods in the stores.”

Publix will also open two new stores, including the first supermarket in downtown Tampa, on East Twiggs Street. The other is on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg.

The two new supermarkets are scheduled to break ground next month.

Kritzer says what Publix decides to do with their stores always affects the Tampa Bay area.

“What happens at Publix on a global level, what happens in that grocery industry on a global level is so important in Tampa Bay because that is the biggest private company headquartered here,” she said.

Publix is also slowly testing their e-commerce side by collaborating with InstaCart out of South Florida to deliver groceries. They’re also trying grocery curbside pickup, but they’re not new to it.

“They started doing the curbside pickup in the late 1990s when you could order online, pull up to the store, pick it up and it just proved not to be as profitable as they had hoped it would be so they stopped doing it,” Kritzer said.

However with competition like Kroger, Walmart, Trader Joe’s and other specialty grocery stores, Kritzer doesn’t think there will be a decline in Publix revenue because they know how to adapt.

“I think the causality will be in other grocers and we are seeing that,” she said. “I mean Whole Foods, the problems are continuing there. Fresh Market was bought by a bigger company to try to reverse some of the problems. So, no I don’t think you’ll see a Publix decline. I think you’ll see other casualties in that grocery market.”

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