HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A new grocery giant will open its first store in Virginia Saturday morning near the affluent Twin Hickory and Wyndham neighborhoods in Henrico County's West End.
The flagship Publix store, which sits on land originally readied by Ukrop’s before the family-owned Richmond grocery stores were sold to grocer Martin's parent company, anchors the new Nuckols Place shopping center at 5400 Wyndham Forest Drive.
The store's grand opening will take place Saturday at 7 a.m. The store will be open Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The pharmacy will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Unlike some other stores, Publix does not offer a loyalty card as workers said the company tries to "build savings" into their products. The store is also known for its weekly buy one, get one free deals.
For shoppers hunting for the lowest prices, here are how much several grocery staples cost at the store:
- A gallon of Publix-brand two-percent milk -- $2.39
- A dozen Publix-brand medium eggs -- 89 cents
- Publix-brand white bread -- 99 cents
The new store follows a similar layout to other grocery stores and will most likely not be a drastic change for Martin's shoppers.
As you enter, you're greeted by the chain's famous deli counters, chock-full of subs and fried and rotisserie chicken. Off to the right is a sushi and hot bar that also houses a range of prepared deli sides.
That is followed by the store's event planning center and a cooking school space that is slated to open sometime in the fall.
Then the bakery is off to the right and offers a range of cookies, pies, cakes and even custom wedding cakes. Of course there are also a host of breads and rolls available as well as some Ukrop's products.
A large produce section is off to the left which is flanked by the store's "Aprons Simple Meals" kiosk. This is where clerks will show shoppers how to prepare meals, which will change twice a week. The ingredients for the featured meals are located in a case next to the mini kitchen.
That leads back of the right side of the store where you'll find an extensive cheese and wine selection.
Along the rear of the store are the seafood, meat and dairy departments. The store's frozen food section is located in the center of the store.
Just past there you'll also find an aisle filled with chips as well as a refrigerated case of a wide-range of beers, including a number of Central Virginia brews.
The final grocery aisles contain pet, baby, home and toiletries lines that are adjacent to the store's drive-thru pharmacy and floral department.
Like other grocery stores, the last side aisle contains bread, eggs, butter and various cheeses.
Publix also stocks a line of products made in Virginia. Customers can look for the "Virginia Local" signs throughout the store.
This includes some fruits and vegetables in the produce department as well as products like Blanchard's coffee and an end-of-aisle display of honey, jams, mustards and other delicacies.
There are also displays of "Virginia Local" items in the beer and wine departments.
At a media preview event Friday morning, store managers stressed the employee-owned chain's commitment to its workers and the community.
In fact, managers said the chain is bringing 1800 new "secure" jobs among their new stores with plans to add "many more" in the future.
Charlotte Division Vice President Chuck Roskovich, who talked about starting work at one of the grocer's stores in 1975 with the aim of buying his first car, pointed out that Publix is the largest employee-owned company in US with 780,000 employees.
"We are in the people business," Roskovich said.
He also said Publix, which tied with Wegmans, came in first place as America's favorite grocery chain in a recent study conducted by Marketforce Information.
The chain also ranked 21st on Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for 2017 and has made the list every year since it was first published in 1998.
Roskovich said Publix's entry into Virginia is good for shoppers because "wherever you shop, competition is good."
Officials also demonstrated Publix's history of giving back to the communities it serves.
Store Manager Chellie Peck handed out checks totaling $5,000 to ten nearby schools in Glen Allen.
"Publix was founded in 1930 with the philosophy of being involved as responsible citizens in our communities," Publix Media and Community Relations Manager Kim Reynolds said. "Through our support of education, we strive to enrich the lives of students and assist in preparing them for future success."
Publix and RVA
News that Publix was entering the Richmond grocery store wars and building a new store in Glen Allen broke in February of 2016.
Then in July of that year Publix announced plans to buy ten Martin's stores, whose futures were uncertain since the company that owns those stores, Ahold, merged with Food Lion's parent company, Delhaiz.
Those companies opted to divest their Central Virginia Martin's locations in favor of continuing to operate their Food Lion stores across much of the Commonwealth. Food Lion stores have a large footprint in the southeast while Giant and Martin's stores were favored in the northeast.
“Acquiring these 10 locations aligns with Publix’s aggressive growth plan for the commonwealth of Virginia,” Publix CEO President Todd Jones said at the time the purchase was announced.
The final Martin’s stores sold to Publix, which are being renovated, closed earlier this month.
The second Publix store, the first fully renovated Martin's grocery store, will open later this month. The Shoppes at Crossridge store at 10250 Staples Mill Road will hold its grand opening on Saturday, July 29 at 7 a.m.
The White Oak Village Publix store located at 4591 South Laburnum Avenue in Richmond will have its grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 5 at 7 a.m.
Lakeland, Florida-based Publix has stores in the southeast in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. The Nuckols Place store is the chain's first Virginia location.
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