Is it time for Publix to scale its Greenwise Market concept?
2022 is shaping up as a breakout year for Publix’s Greenwise Market format.
The Greenwise organic food and essentials specialty concept in Florida experienced higher year-over-year foot traffic growth in September than Publix’s mainstream stores, according to a Placer.ai study reported in Winsight Grocery.
Greenwise Market visits were up 6.4 percent during the month, while Publix’s visits were down 3.9 percent. September continued a trend that saw monthly visits to Publix in Florida decline in June, July and August, even as visits to Greenwise grew by double digits. The time shoppers spent in Greenwise (28 minutes) was also greater than at Publix stores (24 to 26 minutes).
The traffic gains/losses of Publix and its Greenwise concept can be explained, in part, by their relative sizes. Greenwise, with only eight locations, is able to show more significant percentage changes than Publix with its 1,313 stores.
Publix initially launched its natural/organic store concept under the slightly different Publix Greenwise Market banner in 2008, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. The concept evolved into Greenwise Market, which began opening store locations in 2018.
Major grocery chains began experimenting with small-format grocery stores early- to mid-way through the 2010s, when such formats emerged as a way to court urban shoppers. Small formats proved able to more easily weave themselves into urban neighborhoods where big boxes would not fit.
Target was having such success with small stores that early in 2020, before the pandemic, it made plans to build an even smaller store concept.
Not all the experimentation with new store concepts, however, has trended in a smaller direction.
In November, Target announced that it was launching a new store concept that is 150,000 square feet, 20,000 feet larger than an average Target store. The new format, which will not be as large as the retailer’s grocery concept SuperTarget stores, will include more space for food and beverages than a typical big box Target.
In addition to more floor space and an expanded product selection, Target’s new concept has five times the amount of backroom area for the fulfillment of drive up, pickup and ship-from-store orders. Like Target’s popular small, flexible-format stores, the new concept features localized elements. The first new, larger redesigned store opened near Houston.
- Grocery retailers are carving out success in small places – Winsight Grocery Business
- GreenWise Market, with small stores and no Pub subs, is a paradigm shift for Publix – Tampa Bay Business Journal
- Target thinks small to succeed big time – RetailWire
- Will Target’s new store format be even a bigger hit with its guests – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What factors (demographics, operational execution, etc.) are key to making small format grocery stores work? Do you see opportunities for Publix to significantly scale its Greenwise Market concept?