business news in context, analysis with attitude

Published reports out of Alabama say that the opening early last month of a new Publix store in Gulf Breeze, and the company’s apparent plans to open additional units in the southwest part of the state, suggests real and significant change in how people in that region do their supermarket shopping.

The Mobile Press-Register suggests that the shift could be akin to what happened in the 1990s, when Wal-Mart came to the region with the first of 11 supercenters – which forced the merger of Delchamps and Jitney Jungle, and eventually the failure of Delchamps to survive.

KC's View:
The feeling on the part of experts – especially Burt Flickinger III, who is one of the smartest guys in the business – is that this is a smart move for Publix, which will be able to dominate the upper end of the market. Wal-Mart, in turn, will have the lower end of the market. Getting squeezed, in the inevitable and unappetizing middle, will be Winn-Dixie and Bruno’s.