By KEVIN FESTA
KENNESAW, Ga. — Several Publix Supermarkets are set to face their biggest competition in many years in the Kennesaw area in the form of a 288,000 sq. ft. Whole Foods shopping center, scheduled to open in the summer of 2016.
At the intersection of Barrett Parkway and GA-41, construction has already begun and many shops are set to open in addition to the Whole Foods, which will be the focal point of the shopping center.
Publix currently operates in six states including Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North and South Carolina and Georgia. Besides Florida, where Publix was founded, Georgia is the company’s largest operating state.
Publix is considered by some to be the top supermarket in the state when it comes to customer satisfaction.
“We really pride ourselves on taking care of the customer and tending to all of their needs here at Publix,” said Allison Galusha, a customer service representative who has been with the company for five years.
The construction of the Whole Foods will have the largest impact on Publix store number 769, located just down the street on Barrett Parkway and Old 41. This particular Publix sees nearly $500,000 in sales per week, which makes the location one of the busiest in the Kennesaw area.
Changes will surely be coming to Publix 769 in the near future, as they are already expecting a slight decrease in sales, but employees say they cannot let that change the way they conduct business.
“We will for sure be hit by this Whole Foods opening, but as a strong company that has sustained an 85-year reputation of excellence, we can’t be phased by Whole Foods opening and potentially losing some of our customers,” said Bobby Kendall, an assistant customer service manager at Publix 764 who has worked at Publix 769 in the past and knows the customer loyalty personally.
The third quarter 2016 opening of Whole Foods in Kennesaw is set to be the biggest competition the store has seen in years.
“We are excited to see what this opening will to do our store and if we can keep up our hard work and continue to bring in new customers and keep the same ones we already have,” said Andrew Wall, a customer service representative at location 769.
Batson-Cook Construction Company has already broken ground on the 288,000 sq. ft. shopping center, formerly occupied by a large trailer park. Also set to open in this center is an Academy Sports and Outdoors. This will cause competition with the Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sports Authority located just down the street on Barrett Parkway as well.