Growth within the grocer sector is strong in many areas encompassing Southwest Florida! Individuals grocers to include Earth Fare, Whole Foods, Lucky’s Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Detwiler’s Farm Market are continuing to seek opportunities to growth their footprint within this sector of the state. In search of entering into these markets with limited options, they are lending themselves to being flexible in deal structures, wether that is leasing all or a portion of a former big box space, participating in ground leases, self-development of land or existing property acquisitions. Majority of the spaces that these grocers are occupying are smaller than the traditional 50,000 square foot store requirements which has been known criteria for grocers in the past. They are getting more creative and working with smaller footprints which has landed them the ability to capitalize on more opportunities. Newest stores and prototypes include: Whole Foods at 40,000 sf in Sarasota, FL, Earth Fare at 23,500 sf in Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch, Lucky’s at 30,000 sf and Sprouts at 26,000 sf also in Sarasota, FL.
The grocer sector continues to change and evolve as new entrants continue implementing fresh foods and wholesome health as the baseline for their grocery model. Many of the grocers are slightly different than one another in their own ways from the organic composition of their product lines to the prepared food components within their stores. One thing for certain is that people in Florida are attracted to healthy eating, healthy lifestyles and finding quality food with competitive pricing. Publix is still the mammoth in the grocery space and is excellent in all aspects of their operation with some calling the supermarket leader the “the trunk of the tree”, however competitive grocers view Florida as the future of their operation with plans of further investment to pick up market share in the Sunshine State.