Florida-based Publix Supermarkets has budgeted $1.5 billion to open new stores, remodel existing ones and acquire shopping centers in 2018, according to Retail Leader. The company was operating 1,167 supermarkets (totaling 54.9 million square feet) at the end of 2017, up from 1,136 stores at the beginning of 2017.
Part of the chain's real estate strategy is to own more of the centers its stores anchor. In recent years it has been snapping up centers in Florida and elsewhere. Publix owned 31.8 percent of its stores last year, up from 29.1 percent in 2016 and 11.2 percent in 2007.
Last year Publix hired a vice president of real estate assets: Woody Rayburn. "We’ve increased our investment in real estate over the last several years as a better use of our capital resources,” the company said in a press release. “As a result, our real estate department has seen a lot of growth.” Publix reports that same-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased by 3.2 percent.
By Brannon Boswell