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The Lakeland Ledger reports that Publix Super Markets says it will spend about $500 million to open 57 new stores this year.

In 2003, according to the story, “Publix opened 78 supermarkets. It also closed 18 stores and expanded or remodeled another 80 stores.”

Publix had said in 2001 that it wanted to open 340 new stores over five years; at the time, Publix had 648 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.

At the beginning of this year, Publix operated 801 supermarket, compared with 741 at the beginning of the year. Six hundred supermarkets were in Florida, 148 in Georgia, 34 in South Carolina, 12 in Alabama and seven in Tennessee.
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