Publix announces plans for Wilmington location

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A popular grocery store chain plans to open its first location in the Wilmington area next year.

Kim Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Publix Super Markets, Inc. said a store in the Pine Valley area is scheduled to open in late 2016. Publix at Pine Valley will be located at the southwest corner of South College Road and Bragg Drive. Plans for a grocery store first surfaced last winter leading to speculation it could be a Publix with Harris Teeter, Food Lion and Lowe’s Foods locations all close by.

Reynolds said the store will be approximately 45,000 square feet. She said there will be approximately 125-150 employees for the store and more than 100 of those positions will be local hires.

Shoppers said they wouldn’t mind another grocery store in the area. They said it means more variety.

“More choices are fine. The more the better. I hope they don’t put anybody out of business, because I do like Food Lion and I do like Harris Teeter, we will probably shop at all of them,” said Elizabeth Hickmon.

“I’ve never been to a Publix but I think having more options brings more different products and prices so I am interested in seeing what they have to offer,” said Lynn Fahning.

Plans for the proposed Ogden Market Place shopping center on Market Street in Ogden have hinted that the property would be anchored by a Publix, as well. Charles Worthen of Halpern Enterprises, which is developing the project, said an official announcement on the store cannot be made until a lease is side, which Worthen says could happen in the next few weeks. Wilmington City Council last week approved rezoning the Ogden Market Place property after voluntary annexation made it part of the city earlier this summer.

Reynolds said Publix does not comment on locations without a signed lease, but she said the Florida-based grocery store chain continues “to look at sites all across Eastern NC to better serve our customers.”

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