Representatives from the Lakeland-based chain met with city of Gainesville planning staff members — including the planning manager, Ralph Hilliard — about constructing a smaller-concept prototype near the University of Florida campus, according to a report in The Gainesville Sun.
Publix spokesman Brian West declined to comment specifically on the development or imminent debut of a smaller store.
“We continually evaluate our store prototypes and market area opportunities,” West said. “There are many factors considered in site selection and choosing the appropriate prototype for the site.”
The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported in October that Publix was developing a design for a 20,000-square-foot store in Charlotte, North Carolina.
West said the average Publix store is about 45,000 square feet, and the chain’s current smallest location is 27,000 square feet.
The proposed site — 201 NW 13th St., Gainesville — is presently occupied by the city’s first McDonald’s, which opened in 1968. According to The Gainesville Sun report, McDonald’s officials are in the process of relocating the restaurant.
If Publix does debut a smaller-store prototype in the near future, the company would be joining a growing trend in the supermarket industry.