Category Archives: Tampa Lifestyle

From Aldi to Publix to Whole Foods, here’s how Tampa Bay’s grocery market share breaks down

With’s purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc., the online giant will control 1.2 percent of the grocery market in the Tampa Bay region.

That was Whole Foods’ market share in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Hernando and Pasco counties in 2016, according to Chain Store Guide. Whole Foods has three stores here, with two in Tampa and one in Clearwater.

Amazon is planning to buy the specialty grocer for $13.7 billion, but the implications of the deal go far beyond the more than 400 Whole Foods stores it will own. It will mean a new level of competition for Publix Super Markets Inc., which is based in Lakeland. Publix employs more than 36,000 people in the Bay area, including corporate workers at the Lakeland headquarters.

Publix, the hometown grocer, controls 39.3 percent of the grocery market with 117 stores here, according to Chain Store Guide. Use the interactive graphic below to see grocers’ market share versus number of stores.

Tampa Bay grocery market share

Winn-Dixie and Winn-Dixie Marketplace, which are owned by Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers, has nearly as many stores in that same area — 100, according to Chain Store Guide. But it controls only 16.1 percent of the market. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. controls 16.4 percent of the market with just 32 stores. (That figure doesn’t include Walmart Neighborhood Markets, which account for 3.2 percent of the market with 17 stores.)

The market share numbers will likely look different in the coming years. Amazon’s digital savvy has the potential to increase Whole Foods’ market share, and there are new competitors to consider. Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. is just entering the Florida market, with three stores open so far this year (in Carrollwood, South Tampa and Sarasota).

German discount grocer Aldi, which controls 1 percent of the market with 15 stores, recently announced it will ramp up its U.S. expansion plans. Lidl, another German discount grocer, appears to be laying the groundwork to enter Florida in the coming years.

Market share versus number of stores


Story by Ashley Gurbal Kritzer at the Tampa Bay Business Journal

Publix to offer delivery from all stores throughout the Southeast


If grocery shopping just isn’t a pleasure for you, Publix Super Markets Inc. will now do it for you — in all 1,100-plus stores throughout the Southeast.The Lakeland-based grocer said Wednesday that it will offer same-day delivery via Instacart in all Publix markets by 2020.

Publix rolled out Instacart delivery service with a pilot program in the Miami area in July 2016 and quickly expanded to the Tampa Bay region. It is now offered in major markets throughout Publix’s footprint and will expand to dozens of others in the next five months. (See list below.)

The Instacart delivery service has created 2,800 jobs, according to Publix.

“We selected Instacart because we knew their approach and expertise would deliver a high-quality experience for our customers,” said Laurie Douglas, Publix senior vice president and chief information officer, in a statement. “The overwhelming response of our customers has proven that Instacart and Publix are a strong and dynamic team. We are excited to take the next steps in building our unique relationship to dramatically grow the service in our markets.”

Publix has defined its relationship with Instacart as a “collaboration” and on Wednesday said it was “strengthening its relationship” with the app-based delivery service. The grocer promotes the Instacart service with signage throughout its stores and has a section devoted to the service on its website.


Publix’s relationship with Instacart sets it apart from Shipt, a similar app-based delivery service that began offering Publix delivery in 2015. Shipt has green-and-white branding that is similar to Publix’s own logo, but there is no formal relationship between the two.

Publix’s decision to offer delivery services from all of its stores represents a major investment and a watershed moment within the grocery industry. Publix is known in grocery and real estate circles for the data it collects and analyzes. Instacart also has the ability to mine data from customers, and the fact that Publix is doubling down on delivery means the Lakeland grocer sees a profitable future in the service.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger Co., Publix’s two biggest competitors, have been rapidly expanding their click-and-collect services, in which customers order online and have items brought directly to their cars.

The Instacart delivery service goes a step beyond that with home delivery, and it also sets Publix up to compete with, which is laying the groundwork to be a major player in the grocery realm, as well as, the e-commerce company Walmart acquired in September 2016. has a grocery platform that the company has been rapidly expanding throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Walmart is also piloting a program in New Jersey and Arkansas in which employees deliver items on their way home from work.
Here are the stores where Publix currently offers delivery:

Florida (Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach), Georgia (Atlanta), South Carolina (Columbia), North Carolina (Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh) and Tennessee (Knoxville and Nashville).

The next five months will bring Publix delivery to Instacart in the following markets:
▪Alabama: Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery
▪Florida: Cape Coral, Crestview, Fort Pierce, Gainesville and Panama City
▪Georgia: Albany, Augusta, Macon and Savannah
▪North Carolina: Asheville, High Point, Wilmington and Winston-Salem
▪South Carolina: Charleston, Greenville, Hilton Head Island, Myrtle Beach and Spartanburg
▪Tennessee: Chattanooga
▪Virginia: Richmond

Story by : Ashley Gurbal Kritzer at the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Tampa to host fifth Super Bowl

The Tampa Bay region will host another Super Bowl, thanks to a construction delay in Los Angeles.

NFL owners voted unanimously at a meeting Tuesday to move Super Bowl LV to Tampa due to a delay in building the LA Rams’ new stadium. In 2016, Tampa lost its bid to host a Super Bowl to Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami, all of which have new stadiums.

Raymond James Stadium is in the midst of a $150 million renovation. It will be the fifth Super Bowl Tampa has hosted.

“Being awarded Super Bowl 2021 is a testament to our city’s ability to shine on the international stage,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn said in a statement. “Tampa does big events as well as anybody in the world and once again we will rise to the occasion. We look forward to working to meet the host requirements over the weeks ahead. Thank you to the NFL and network of owners who voted unanimously on this move. We will not disappoint.”

Los Angeles will now host the game in 2022.

By 2021, Tampa should be a dramatically different city than it was in 2009, when it last hosted the Super Bowl. By then, several of the buildings in the Strategic Property Partners’ $3 billion, mixed-use district in downtown Tampa should be out of the ground. The Heights, a large mixed-use project on the Tampa Heights waterfront just north of downtown, should be close to completion as well, bringing a new food hall and events venue to the city.

Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, said his organization had been monitoring the situation in Los Angeles and began to seriously prepare for the possibility of hosting the game about three or four days ago.

Higgins said his group will now revisit its previous bid, reaching out to hotels, event venues and other community leaders to ensure their commitment to the 2021 game. That has to be done before the league will officially award the game to Tampa, Higgins said.

“Naturally, we need to make sure that all of that is buttoned up to the NFL’s specifications and expectations,” Higgins said.

The chance to host the Super Bowl comes on the heels of hosting the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, which Tampa hosted in January to rave reviews.

“With billions of dollars in new projects on the horizon, visitors will have an even better experience awaiting them in Tampa Bay when they attend Super Bowl LV,” Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay said in a statement.

Story by Ashley Kritzer at Bizjournals

Sparked By Amazon, Cargo Business Growing At Tampa International Airport

Cargo business at Florida’s Tampa International Airport is growing, thanks in large part to online retailer Inc. Seattle-based Amazon has opened two enormous distribution centers in the greater Tampa Bay area. To supply those warehouses with merchandise, Amazon is shipping goods to Tampa International Airport daily aboard a Boeing 767 cargo freighter plane. It’s a lucrative arrangement for Tampa’s airport, which has seen a spike of more than 20% in cargo activity over 2016 cargo activity. The Amazon deal alone has generated more than $275,500 in revenue for the airport through fees and building rental payments, which continues to go up.

The daily flight is part of a national deal that Amazon quietly inked with Air Transport Services Group in 2015 to lease five Boeing 767 cargo planes and use them to move merchandise across the country. Tampa was one of the first regions to be a part of Amazon’s air cargo delivery network. Amazon and ATSG renewed the contract last year and extended the lease to 20 cargo planes. Business is going well enough that LGSTX Services Inc., a firm under the same parent company as Air Transport Services, wants to lease additional warehouse space from the Tampa airport. Hillsborough County Aviation Authority board members approved a proposal May 4 for LGSTX Services to take over the lease of a 7,680-square-foot cargo building from United Airlines to use for storage and the creation of pallets for packing and shipping. The lease, which extends to September 2018 and includes renewal options, will generate more than $91,000 in rent and fees annually.

Additionally, board members agreed to change the language of the airport’s air service incentive program to accommodate more domestic cargo freight business. The incentive program has been used mostly to lure new commercial airliners and flights to Tampa Bay, such as the direct flight to Frankfurt, Germany, on Lufthansa and to Panama City, Panama on Copa Airlines. The airport waives fees and has written checks for marketing reimbursements through the program. For cargo flights, the incentive program only allowed international carriers to participate. That changed May 4 when board members voted to revise the language to include incentives for all cargo air services. “When we created the policy in 2011, we thought the only growth in cargo business we’d see would be from international carriers,” said Chris Minner, vice president of marketing at the airport. “But that’s not the case, so we’d like the program to be open to any freighter.” Other cargo companies such as Atlas Air Inc., FedEx Corp. and the U.S. Postal Service are among the other cargo businesses at the airport. FedEx Corp. ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

Read more at:

Story By Justine Griffin © Transport Topics, American Trucking Associations Inc.

Shipt Debuts Costco Delivery In Tampa

Shipt, an app-based grocery delivery service, is rolling out Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) delivery in Tampa to make bulk shopping more accessible to customers for whom convenience trumps grazing on free samples.

Tampa is the first market in which Shipt is offering Costco delivery, a spokeswoman said.

Instacart, which launched delivery services in the Tampa Bay region in October, already offers Costco delivery here.

The Shipt app requires a membership, which costs $99 annually. Shipt members can order groceries via the app and have them delivered to their home in as little as one hour.

Shipt debuted in the Tampa Bay region in July 2015, offering delivery from Publix Super Markets Inc. Despite its green-and-white branding, there is no official relationship between Shipt and Lakeland-based Publix. In this market, Shipt also offers delivery from ABC Fine Wine and Spirits.

“We founded Shipt to simplify the grocery shopping experience, and are pleased to give our dedicated members access to unmatched savings as an extension of their Shipt memberships,” Bill Smith, founder and CEO of Shipt, said in a statement. “As we continue to scale Shipt on a national level, we look forward to offering more options for delivery to our Florida members today, and to Shipt members across the country in the future.”

Online grocery shopping is becoming more prevalent in the Tampa Bay region. In 2016, Publix launched what it calls a ” collaboration” with Instacart, pushing deliveries via that app in signage throughout its stores. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. offers online grocery shopping with curbside pickup in several locations throughout the Bay region and Central Florida.

Story By : Ashley Gurbal Kritzer at Tampa Bay Business Journal

College Football Championship brings a big win to Tampa Business

Clemson University beat the University of Alabama 35-31 at Raymond James Stadium Monday night in the College Football National Championships, but Tampa Bay turned out to be the real winner.

The football game was the culmination of a days of events designed to show off Tampa as a destination and provide an economic boon to the area. Hotels in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties were projected to be at full capacity as fans of both teams poured into town days ahead of the game to see other related events

Tampa officials are hoping the game has an economic impact equal to or perhaps greater than the $308 million Dallas saw in 2015 and the $274 million in Phoenix last year.

On Monday, fans of both teams streamed into the stadium hours ahead of the big game, snarling traffic and eventually filling up the stands. The official attendance at the stadium was a record 74,512 people. Bands representing the Clemson Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide played from either side of the stadium, later coming onto the field before the game.

Local restaurants and other businesses also were expected to do well. The game was a huge opportunity for Patrick Ruddell, owner of the Mini Doughnut Factory in South Tampa. His doughnuts were served during halftime in the press box of the stadium, where scores of out-of-town reporters were covering the game.

“This is amazing for us to be involved in something so big,” Ruddell said. He was approached about two months ago to have his doughnuts be part of the championship. “They reached out to us in November. They said they want one local business in every city they go to. I don’t know how they found us but it’s a blessing.”

In fact, it was Gina Lehe, senior director of communications and branding for the College Football Playoffs, who found the business run by Ruddell and his wife, Zezura. “I came out here in March looking for a dessert item,” Lehe said. After seeing the reviews on Yelp, she hopped in her car and headed over to Ruddell’s shop.

“It was a hidden gem that wasn’t a huge chain. I fell in love with the concept. It was easy to prepare and present,” Lehe said.

Of course, there were the bacon-topped mini-doughnuts. “It was perfect because we do a bacon-themed dinner after the game,” Lehe said.

Ruddell is planning five more stores in the Tampa Bay area this year, including one in St. Petersburg in May. He wants to have 55 locations by 2019.

At the game, Raymond James Stadium was turned into competing seas of orange versus crimson under fair skies on a cool, 56-degree night. Fireworks, two paratroopers dropping onto the field after the university bands played and a bald eagle flying into the stadium as the “Star-Spangled Banner” was sung started off the evening.

The two teams traded the lead back and forth over the course of the game but Clemson came back late in the game to take the lead and win.

Story by TampaBayBusinessJournal