retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Tampa Tribune reports that Publix Super Markets has signed leases for two locations in Virginia where the company plans to open stores - its first stores in Virginia, the seventh state in which it will be doing business.

According to the story, "The company said it will open a 54,000-square-foot store in Bristol in the fourth quarter of 2017, with a 49,000-square-foot store in Glen Allen in 2018." The Glen Allen store is said to be on land originally acquired for a Ukrop's store; Ukrop's was bought by Ahold in 2010

Publix currently operates 1,100 stores.
KC's View:
It may be two stores now, but it seems entirely likely that it will be a lot more stores before too long. Publix is one of the best supermarket chains in the country, and expanding northward and, I suppose, even westward, simply seems inevitable. There are a lot of markets where weak, ill-defined food retailers have decent market shares just waiting to be taken by a company like Publix.

Or, for that matter, a company like Wegmans ... which is expanding southward even as Publix moves north. Wegmans is one of the few retailers out there that usually is ranked above Publix by shoppers. A pitched and extended battle of titans seems more and more likely.