Lucky’s Market took an opportunistic approach to securing the preexisting locations that will house the six new Florida stores that it plans to open over the next 18 months.
“We’re doing anything we can to offer a really good experience while keeping prices low so as we look for real estate we look for the right deal that works well for our model while utilizing stores, when appropriate, to help revitalize areas of the community that need a kick-start,” Ben Friedland, VP of marketing for Lucky’s Market told SN. “Our Gainesville location had been empty for 22 years prior to us taking that over and helped provide an economic engine for that part of town.”
Lucky’s Market, which underscores its affordability with messages like “organic for the 99%,” opened eight stores in 2016, with six of them located in Florida (Gainesville, Naples, Coral Springs, Plantation, Neptune Beach, Orlando, Tallahassee and Melbourne).
The retailer plans to open its six new Florida locations in Sarasota, Panama City and Oakland Park this summer, Port St. Lucie in late 2017, Bonita Springs in early 2018, and St. Petersburg in summer 2018.
Its expansion is new and existing markets is made possible, in part, by the Kroger Co.’s “meaningful” investment in the Lucky’s Market, which the retailers announced last spring.
Although Friedland couldn’t provide specific details on the partnership, he said, “We continue to work with Kroger looking for ways to leverage its size and scale to help bring our mission more to fruition which is a lower cost of goods to pass along savings to customers.”
Lucky’s unique concept includes specialty foods such as in-house smoked bacon and house-made sausages. Its in-house butcher serves “never ever” meats, which have never been treated with antibiotics or artificial growth hormones, and it merchandises an array of ready-to-eat meals made from scratch daily as well as fresh grab-and-go sushi options, and cheese islands stocked with international cheeses. Excitement is also built in-store with “sip-and-stroll” shopping. Customers can enjoy $2 draft beers and $3 glasses of wine while they shop.
Friedland said that the new stores may feature unique offerings as its team continues to work on evolving the concept in fun and interesting ways.
The Sarasota store that’s set to open this summer will launch a ramen bar, for instance.
“That’s something we’ve not done before but we’re constantly trying to evolve programs and make them better,” Friedland said.