LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets  on Wednesday said that it had signed a lease for its first store in North Carolina, and would establish a Charlotte-based division for further growth in the Tar Heel State.
The 56,000-square-foot store, to be located in Ballantyne, N.C., is tentatively planned to open in early 2014, Publix said.
Industry watchers had long anticipated Publix would expand into North Carolina, particularly after the retailer opened two stores in South Carolina this year on the outskirts of Charlotte. The Ballantyne store will be located around six miles from the newly opened Publix store in Indian Land, S.C.
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Maria Brous, a spokeswoman for Publix, told SN Wednesday that the company is actively looking for additional sites in the Charlotte market but said the company would not identify specific locations until leases are signed. She said Publix would establish a separate division in Charlotte to manage stores in the area. Publix currently has divisions in Miami, Lakeland and Jacksonville, Fla., and in Atlanta.
“We’ve long been asked by our customers and associates when we’d be coming to North Carolina,” Brous said. “We are in a good financial position to continue our growth, and so when an opportunity presented itself, it made sense for us.”
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