Supermarket wars: Publix growth routs rivals, eyes Amazon competition


By Jeff Ostrowski, Palm Beach Post

August 11, 2017


Floridians of a certain age recall when going to the grocery store meant choosing between Publix and Winn-Dixie.


As recently as 20 years ago, the grocers were evenly matched rivals running neck and neck. In 1997, Winn-Dixie operated 424 stores in Florida, while Publix ran 446 supermarkets.


Fast forward two decades, and thereís no longer a contest. Winn-Dixie, hampered by bankruptcies, shoddy customer service and downtrodden locations, has faded into a distant second despite new branding campaigns to freshen its image.


Publix has so thoroughly vanquished Winn-Dixie that it has seven times as many Palm Beach County locations as Winn-Dixie. And Lakeland-based Publix has more Palm Beach County markets than all other grocers combined.


Thatís according to research by Josh Ladle, a broker at commercial real estate firm Avison Young. He visited 130 grocery-anchored shopping centers in Palm Beach County to compile an almost-comprehensive list of supermarkets. The results: