Thursday, January 28, 2016

Publix Stays Old-School While Whole Foods, Aldi and Trader Joes Go Smaller, Cheaper, Better

Publix (Website) is the dominant grocery store brand in the Orlando area. It trades on the model of huge variety, huge store footprint, higher prices (justified by a no-cost-to-them feature: customer service) and a dependance on national brands.

Oh, and they have more money than Wal Mart. So the model is working for them.

Aldi (Website) is a German grocery chain that's a sister company to Trader Joes (Website). Both offer private label products versus national brands. Prices are generally cheaper at the two stores than at traditional grocery stores and the store footprints are smaller.

A new entrant to the market from Germany, Lidl, will also use the private label, smaller foot print model.

This newer model has been noticed by another grocery store chain, Whole Foods. They, unlike Publix, are jumping onto the bandwagon with glee.

Whole Foods just opened a mega store on January 20th in Altamonte Springs. They're not getting out of the larger-format store game anytime soon.

However, Whole Foods announced in 2015 that it would be getting into the private label, smaller grocery store game as well with the 2016 launch of a new store called 365 by Whole Foods (Website).

The stores won't be dumbed-down versions of Whole Foods according to Jeff Toucans, President of 365. He says guests will be able to do a "full shop," meaning the market will contain everything customers need for a typical grocery shopping experience.

He says the stores will allow the company to bring fresh healthy foods to communities they wouldn't be able to through their Whole Foods stores.

UCF? Downtown? Those are two spots that could use a value-focused, lower-priced grocery store.

He describes the new 365 stores as

  1. right amount of technology, not tech for tech's sake
  2. bright, hip and cool
  3. will look great when you walk up to it
  4. knowledgable team members
  5. fresh, healthy, exciting

No Orlando let alone Florida location has been announced yet.

The first cities to get the new concept store include:

  1. Silver Lake (LA)
  2. Bellevue, Washington
  3. Houston
  4. Portland
  5. Oregon
  6. Santa Monica 
  7. Cedar Park, Texas
  8. Cincinnati
  9. San Francisco  

The first three store locations open in 2016 and 10 stores are expected to open in 2017.

Have a tip about Orlando-area development? Send it to mark@thedailycity.com.