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The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that Publix "is making progress on its expansion into Virginia," and has "pulled permits to renovate four of the Martin's Food Markets Inc. stores it is buying in the Richmond area." Publix is said to have earmarked $16 million to renovate the stores.

The story notes that "in early 2016, Publix announced it would start building stores in Virginia, its first new state in four years. The expansion was accelerated in July, when Publix was able to pick up 10 Martin's stores in the Richmond area as the result of a merger between Ahold USA Inc. and Delhaize Group."

Virginia is becoming a hotbed of supermarket competition, with Wegmans also having opened two stores there last year, and German discounter Lidl making plans to open there sometime next year. "Trader Joe's and Aldi have a presence there as well," the Journal writes. "And Publix's biggest competitors — Kroger Co. and Walmart Stores Inc. — both have stores in the area."
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