Report: Publix may enter North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Publix Super Markets may be mulling an expansion into North Carolina.

The possible move –– which would give the fast-growing supermarket and pharmacy retailer its first store in the state –– is being reported by the Charlotte Business Journal and Jacksonville Business Journal. Publix, based in Lakeland, Fla., thus far has not issued a comment on the reports.

According to the Charlotte publication, Publix's first North Carolina location likely will be in York County, near Charlotte. Publix is working to line up zoning for a 3.5-acre site to build a stand-alone supermarket, according to local reports, and may be preparing a second site as well.

Amove into North Carolina would be a logical next step for the chain, and within easy reach of its current five-state marketing area. The chain operates 1,023 supermarkets, including more than 800 stores with pharmacies, in a southeastern geographic stronghold that includes 731 stores in Florida, 179 units in Georgia, 43 in South Carolina, 42 in Alabama and 28 in Tennessee. The retailer has been in rapid-expansion mode for the past decade. It also has a distribution center in Lawrenceville, Ga., outside Atlanta and close to the Interstate 85 corridor connecting Georgia with the Carolinas.

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