Publix adds another location for natural foods format
Publix Super Markets announced a third location for its revamped organic and natural foods store concept.
The supermarket retailer said it will open a 25,000-sq.-ft. GreenWise Market in Lakeland, Florida, which is the home of Publix’s corporate offices. A projected opening date has yet to be determined.
“Our new GreenWise Market concept celebrates specialty, natural and organic foods, and we think foodies and health-conscious customers alike will love what the store will offer,” said Kevin Murphy, Publix senior VP of retail operations. “We’re especially excited to announce a location in our home town.”
Publix in 2017 announced plans to reignite its GreenWise store concept, with the first location due to open in Tallahassee, Florida, in late September 2018. The store is currently under construction.
The second GreenWise Market is under construction in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with an expected opening in early 2019. Publix continues to look for additional GreenWise Market locations throughout its operating area.
Publix launched the GreenWise format in 2007, and currently operates three stores under the banner. But it has not opened a new GreenWise location since 2008.
Publix has 1,171 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
Pizza chain teams up with Ford to test self-driving deliveries
Customers may soon be able to avoid tipping for pizza deliveries.
Domino’s Pizza is conducting a second round of self-driving delivery vehicle testing, with a focus on the customer experience. The two-month test in Miami, in partnership with Ford Motor Co., will leverage the learnings of the first round of testing, but will add the element of delivery in a larger, urban setting.
“Our first round of testing the customer experience in Ann Arbor provided some great learnings and insights, including the fact that there are customers who are interested in this as a delivery option,” said Kevin Vasconi, executive vice VP and CIO of Domino’s. “Our testing is focused on the last 50 ft. of the customer experience, between the front door and the car. While we work to refine that interaction, we also need to understand how operating this type of delivery in a more densely populated city will impact the customer experience and the specific delivery challenges it might present.”
For the test, a Ford Fusion Hybrid vehicle – manually driven but outfitted to look like a self-driving vehicle – will take deliveries from a Miami Domino’s store to customers who have ordered online and chosen to participate in the test. Participating customers will be able to track the vehicle via GPS and will receive text messages as the self-driving vehicle approaches.
The texts will also provide them with simple instructions on how to unlock the Domino’s “heatwave compartment” inside the vehicle using a PIN code.
“As the automotive world evolves towards self-driving vehicles, we hope to put ourselves in a leading position by bringing our customers the delivery option that best meets their needs, now and in the future,” said Vasconi.
Domino’s Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world based on sales. It operates more than 14,800 stores in over 85 markets, and had global retail sales of over $12.2 billion in 2017, with more than $5.9 billion in the U.S. and more than $6.3 billion internationally.
CBRE forecasts retail real estate rebound in 2018
Headlines continue to focus on the deceleration of traditional retail powers like Macy’s and J.C. Penney instead of the acceleration of on-trend value and fashion brands like Ross Dress for Less and H&M, according to CBRE senior managing director for retail Todd Caruso.
“The U.S. retail industry is evolving rapidly, but it isn’t receding,” said Caruso in releasing a 2018 market forecast that augurs well for non-gateway markets, off-price retailers, and restaurant and entertainment operators.
CBRE predicts retail rent growth of at least 2.5% in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, Nashville, and Denver that are experiencing job and population growth.
Across the retail spectrum, CBRE envisions landlords becoming more collaborative in the success of their retailers by sharing data, setting aside space for pop-up shops, and even taking equity stakes in retail start-ups in exchange for lower rents and occupancy costs.
The international real estate services and investment firm predicts, too, that the retail segment will draw more attention from opportunistic investors willing to redevelop and reposition failing centers.
Overall indicators bode well for a retail rebound in 2018, according to Brandon Famous, CBRE’s retail leader for the Americas.
“This year has started strongly for retailers and owners of retail centers, given the momentum generated by a robust holiday season, low unemployment and healthy consumer confidence,” Famous said.