Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Closing of a Publix - Publix #107 - Banana River Square - Cocoa Beach, FL

Publix #107
2067 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach, FL – Banana River Square

     Publix opened this store on June 16, 1983, replacing an older wing store at Canaveral Plaza (where the Cocoa Beach Winn-Dixie is now). This Publix closed on September 16, 2017 in order to be torn down and replaced by Publix #1563, which opened on May 31, 2018.

     As we’ve all come to know, Publix is one of those chains that likes to keep everything modern and up to date. Publix is very picky about store atmosphere, which in turn leads them to be constantly remodeling and replacing their stores as they begin to lose some of their shine. This characteristic is one of the many factors that has allowed Publix to become as large and strong as they are today. The store that will be the main subject of this photo chronicle, Publix #107 in Cocoa Beach, was one of the many victims of Publix’s constant desire to keep their stores up to date. While this store was small and old, even up to the very end it was still maintained very well. It even received an interior remodel in 2016 - a year and a half before it closed! (Only Publix would remodel a store that close to its impending doom!). Over the course of this post we’ll see this store during three different phases of its life: normal operations, the second to last day in business, and post-closure (but prior to demolition). As we dive further into this post, we’ll get to see some pretty interesting perspectives of this store, but first we’ll start from the beginning (and by that I mean with normal operations. However, if you want a glimpse of this store from its actual beginning, cflretail posted a photo of this store from its grand opening day, which you can see by clicking here).

     Also, a quick fun fact: Publix #107 had a bit of a personal significance to me. It was the very first Publix store I ever visited a long, long time ago (aka October 1999 – back when Wavy Pastel was still in style!). Fast forward 19 years and I’ve been to 60 different Publix stores (and counting), numerous former Publix locations, and have made countless shopping trips there!

     I’ve been hearing for at least the last two years now that this Publix was to be torn down and rebuilt. However, it wasn’t until May 2017 when the official announcement was made public. That article contains most of the details on what is to be included with the new store, which will actually be quite a bit larger (46,000 square feet compared to the original, which was around 35,000 square feet).

     As with most of these early-mid 80’s built Publix stores, the glass vestibule you see running across the front of the store was not original. That vestibule was more than likely added during a late 80’s or early 90’s remodel. Originally, this store would have had an entryway configuration similar to this. Also, as you may have seen in the grand opening photo, this store was originally built with a wood panel exterior. Some of that wood paneling was stuccoed over in later remodels, although some wasn’t.

     As we near the entrance, we get a glimpse of some of that wood paneling this store was built with (although painted over now). The wood paneling managed to remain along the exterior walls that faced the front walkway, matching the plaza’s original theme.

     Stepping inside the store now, with this overview shot of the vestibule. Those windows to my right were originally exterior windows, with the original doors located in the opening that now leads into the main store.

     Taped to the wall on this visit in August 2017 was this drawing of what the replacement store would look like. It’s a nice variant of the current Publix 45M prototype, with some extra architectural details like those arches and the extended awning. We'll take a tour of the new store in my next My Florida Retail post to see what a modern 45M Publix is all about.

     Upon first entering this store and turning to the right, you find yourself in a small area that included many of the week's promotional and BOGO items. As was typical in most 80's Publix stores, the customer service desk was located in the front right corner of the store, a small bit away from the rest of the front end.

     And would you look at that - the decor suddenly changed! For the first part of this photo chronicle, I merged two batches of photos - sets taken in August 2015 and August 2017. Somewhere in that time bracket (presumably sometime in 2016), this store was remodeled from the Classy Market 2.5 interior (seen in this photo) to the current Classy Market 3.0 interior. Why Publix would remodel a store a year before it is to be torn down and rebuilt is beyond me - but that's Publix for you! I guess you just have to keep the store looking spiffy all the way to the very end! As Retail Retell commented, "Seems like a waste of money, but I guess Publix has plenty of that to spare, haha!"

    The part of the store you see in this photo is the Sun Gear department, a special department this store received due to being right across the street from the beach. Plenty of flip flops, beach chairs, and Florida souvenirs could be found in this department.

     Here's yet another look at the Sun Gear department, although much if it ended up getting blocked behind all of those cases of beer. The customer service counter is to my left from this vantage point, with some of the old exterior windows peeking out from behind the Styrofoam coolers.

     Since I mashed two sets of photos together from two different eras of decor, I figured I'd try a few before and after comparisons like this one. These are relatively similar views from the dairy aisle, located along the right side wall in aisle 1. The photo to the left shows this aisle with the Classy Market 2.5 decor, and the photo on the right has the Classy Market 3.0 decor. Personally, I think Classy Market 2.5 looked better in here. The Classy Market 2.5 signage was more fun and colorful, compared to the rather blah Classy Market 3.0. The replacement store got the full version of Classy 3.0, which we'll see in more detail in my post about that store.

     Turning the corner out of the dairy aisle, we see the meat and seafood counter located along the back wall. The metal awning you see running along the back wall (as well as the one we'll see later on near the bakery and deli) are the last surviving relics from this store's days with the Wavy Pastel decor (see these awnings in original form here and here). These awnings are the one thing from that decor Publix never usually bothers to remove when they remodel. AsYonWooRetail2 commented, "Love those brown awnings! Glad Publix didn't take them down (well at least until they rebuild this store)."

     Moving away from dairy to aisle 2, home to juices and cookies. In this aisle we can see how the ceiling transitions in height over most of the other grocery aisles, another common 70's through 90's Publix trait.

     Here we have a look across the front end, with the deli and pharmacy off in the background (more on those departments later on though). If you look closely where the ceiling transitions in height, that brown colored transition is actually painted over wood paneling. That wood paneling is a really old 70's/80's Publix decor trait from this store's beginning, and can still be seen in original form at some former Publix locations. In many of these older Publix stores, the wood paneling got spackled over during later remodels, so it was neat to see the wood paneling still somewhat exposed all these years later here.

     For this store's last year in operation, the front ceiling transition wall was pretty barren compared to what was there in the few years prior! This store's front end was decorated with one of the most elaborate collages of old Publix photos that I'd ever seen. These classic photos were a staple of Publix's Classy Market 2.0 decor, and were usually carried over into Classy Market 2.5 remodels. For some reason, this store got the deluxe classic photo treatment! Unfortunately, these photos were not carried over into the Classy Market 3.0 decor.

     Another (and wider) view of the photo collage from aisle 5, home to cereal, coffee, and other breakfast-time staples.

     Because we just can't get enough of aisle 5, here's another view from that aisle, this time looking in the reverse direction toward the meat and seafood counter.

     Moving along to aisle 7, home to cleaning supplies. You can also see more of the awesome photo collage from this aisle too. As YonWooRetail2 commented, "Gosh! I love the wall decor in this Publix! From following your Flickr stream and Blog, I have really learned about how Publix can be sort of wasteful with their money. I would like to ask them "Why don't you guys give this store a thorough exterior facade update and leave the inside alone? It looks perfect." They must really have some money to blow if they're tearing down a store that they gave an interior remodel just a year ago! I agree also with regards to the Classy 2.5 looking better than 3 for sure."

     A lot of my photos from the first trip here in 2015 didn't come out so great, but I ended up including a lot of them in the end due to the decor swap that happened in 2016. This is a partially blocked view of what the Meat and Seafood counter looked like with the Classy Market 2.5 decor.

     Jumping ahead to 2017, here's how the seafood half of the counter was transformed with the Classy Market 3.0 decor. The color scheme for seafood switched from blue in Classy Market 2.5 to green in 3.0. I personally feel blue was a more fitting choice for the seafood counter, but the green doesn't look too bad.

     Looking down aisle 7 toward the back of the store, where part of the meat and seafood counter is visible. As YonWooRetail2 noticed, "That's perfect advertising on Publix's part for their Seafood & Meat counter: placing delicious grilled shrimp on a hanging sign as you're headed down the aisle toward the seafood counter."

     Moving further down aisle 7, the cleaning supplies turn into small sections of automotive, hardware, and office supplies. You can also see the Classy Market 3.0 version of the meat department signage much better in this photo.

     Yet another attempt at a closeup of the classic Publix photos along the front end. As you can probably tell, I really liked this decor feature! l_dawg2000 also expressed his thoughts on the aisle signs at this photo: "I like these aisle signs better than the newer ones."

     Here in aisle 9, the ceiling transitions lower once again as we get closer to the left side of the building. In this aisle we also transition into health and beauty and baby products.

     Between the registers and the deli was this store’s pharmacy. This store opened prior to Publix operating in-store pharmacies (an Eckerd was once located next door, which we’ll get a peek at later in this photo series). The Eckerd relocated in 1996, which would later allow Publix to add this pharmacy. According to records, Publix #107’s pharmacy license was issued in 1999, so this probably opened around then.

     Half of aisle 10 was dedicated to snack foods, while the other half was dedicated to frozen foods. As YonWooRetail2 noted about the floors, "One thing I've always liked about Publix is their polished terrazzo floors-it's like a trademark of theirs. In fact this store looks like it recently had its floors stripped and waxed. They're so shiny!"

     Aisle 11 was entirely home to frozen foods.

     Another look across the back wall, this time from the vicinity of the meats department looking back toward dairy.

     Here we see a straight-on view of the deli counter, located in the front left corner of the store. The deli counter continued around the corner to the left, where the sub station and the hot foods cases were located. This store's layout was a rare one from the mid-80's, where Publix placed the deli in the front left corner of the store (store #241 also has this layout). In the typical 80's Publix stores, the deli was usually placed along the back wall.

     Yes, another crummy photo, but I included this one as it was the only photo I had of the deli department with the Classy Market 2.5 decor. This entire area went from yellow to green in the transition to Classy Market 3.0.

     Immediately beyond the deli counter was the rather large bakery.

     The deli, bakery, floral, greeting cards, and wine comprise this store's last aisle, aisle 12. In the background is our first glimpse of the produce department, which we'll look at in more detail next upload. Vintagefans also commented on the metal awnings here: "It's nice how they kept the awnings in this store. Mine had them removed when the 2nd Classy Market decor came along."

     A slightly blurry photo looking back up aisle 12 near the greeting cards. In the background of this photo, you can see how the deli counter wrapped around the corner toward the pharmacy.

     Since these two photos were so similar, I decided to use them to make yet another before and after split screen. The produce department at this store was located in the back left corner, as was typical of most Publix stores until the mid-90’s. In this photo you can see the produce department with both the Classy Market 2.5 and Classy Market 3.0 décor. As vintagefans commented, "In this case, I kind of like the 3.0 better with the green. It reminds me of Winn Dixie's post bankruptcy and transformational produce departments."

     Another look into the produce department. Yes, the side wall was graced by a large photo of an artichoke. As YonWooRetail2 commented, "This is where the green walls look good in a Publix."

     In addition to the produce signage itself, in this photo we can see the cutout that looks into the produce prep area, as well as the small bulk foods section in the background.

     Yet another photo looking across the back wall, and I still have a few more similar ones to come. Since this building doesn’t even exist anymore, I guess it’s better to have too many photos of the same thing than none!

     Heading back up to the front end now as we begin to wrap up the first part of this post...

     Another, albeit slightly blurry, view across the front end of this Publix.

     All of those photos really made the Classy Market 2.5 version of the front end feel much more exciting and much less bland than the Classy Market 3.0 brown repaint.

     Getting ready to head back outside as we see the cutaway into the vestibule once again...

     Thank you for shopping Publix. While we may be leaving the store right now, we'll be back inside before too long - I still have two more parts of this post to go!

     We entered through the right side entryway at the beginning of this photoset, so therefore we will be departing this store through the left side doors. For the next few photos we'll be taking a closer look at the part of the shopping center to the left of the Publix store, as that ties into part of the rebuild and expansion of the main Publix store.

Eckerd #37 / Family Dollar #4357
2063 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach, FL - Banana River Square

     This Eckerd opened in 1983 alongside Publix in the Banana River Square Shopping Center. In 1996, Eckerd relocated to a freestanding store (#2360) a mile north of here at the corner of SR A1A and 520 (in front of the Winn-Dixie plaza). Family Dollar later moved into this space, and closed in either late 2015 or early 2016 in order to make room for the Publix expansion. Family Dollar did not relocate, probably due to the fact that a Dollar Tree (their sister store) already exists directly behind the Publix.

     By the time I got around to taking photos of this part of the plaza, Family Dollar had already left the premises. As part of the expansion of the new Publix, this former Eckerd/Family Dollar space was torn down, along with a small portion of the strip center to the left of this (which we'll see momentarily), in order to accommodate the much larger replacement Publix building.

     This was a fairly typical strip center Eckerd space. The entrance and exit doors were placed at an angle, one of two common designs for these old strip center Eckerd stores (the other design being this). During this August 2017 visit, the old Eckerd/Family Dollar space was being prepped for demolition. As you can probably assume from the propped open door, there was a crew inside here working on the preparations.

     Looking down the walkway from the left end of the old Eckerd/Family Dollar toward Publix's left side entrance. Publix's new store will extend to just about where I was standing to take this picture.

     Separating the two parts of the shopping center (the one containing Publix and the Eckerd/Family Dollar, and the other containing the strip of smaller stores) was this little courtyard space. This little courtyard, as well as the strip of stores just out of frame to my right, were also demolished as part of the Publix rebuild/expansion. The wood paneled wall in front of me will be the new end of the strip of smaller storefronts when construction is complete.

     Behind the little courtyard was this small strip of storefronts, hidden from view behind the old Eckerd building. Since these storefronts were pretty well hidden back here, these storefronts were hard to find tenants for. Some Google searching revealed that in the recent past, tenants such as a barber shop, a coffee chop, a cosmetology salon, a beauty shop, and a home title company have tried their luck back here, although not many of those businesses (other than the barber shop and coffee shop, which were located closer to the courtyard) seem to have lasted long.

     This small strip of stores will also be demolished as part of the Publix expansion. Considering how these storefronts were vacant most of the time, I’m sure the landlord doesn’t mind seeing them go. There wasn’t anything too interesting to be seen in any of these storefronts, although someone was inside unit 2059 (most recently a beauty shop of some kind) cleaning it out as I was taking this photo.

     A look at the front of the Publix from courtyard area, with a bit of the old Eckerd getting into the picture too.

     From this angle, the old Publix does look a bit weathered and worn after 34 years in business here.

     To wrap up Part 1 of this photo chronicle, here’s a photo of the main sign for Banana River Square facing Route A1A. Hurricane Matthew in 2016 beat this sign to pieces, causing it to be replaced by a modern “low rise” sign in its place. However, Hurricane Irma in 2017 didn’t like that sign, and beat that new one to shreds too. Hopefully the new sign to replace that one will be just a bit more durable!

     So this photo will wrap up Part 1 of this post. Starting with the next photo, we begin the relatively short Part 2 of our Publix closing photo chronicle – a look at this store 2 days prior to its closure. However, it’s Publix, so a store closing for them is not what you may be expecting…

     Less than a week after Hurricane Irma passed through this area and with only two days left in business, we find ourselves back at Publix #107. With only a week left to go, this old store weathered its last hurricane. For being right across the street from the beach, this place held up pretty well too after going through a few hours of Category 1 force winds (at least visually from the exterior). This store was originally set to close on September 9, 2017, however Hurricane Irma’s passing delayed that until September 16th. On my drive up here this day (September 15th), there was still plenty of damage and debris lurking around the beachside (nothing too bad though), and just about every traffic light along Route A1A was out. However, my power still hadn’t come back on at this point, and I needed an excuse to get out of the house, so to the Cocoa Beach Publix I went to experience my first Publix “closing”…

     Hanging inside the left side entrance to the store was this large banner, announcing this store’s impending closure on September 16, 2017 (with a tiny ‘16’ taped over the ‘9’ that was there originally).

     Just inside the right side entrance was this similar store closing announcement. Unlike the big banner on the other side, this poster listed the next three closest Publix locations customers could switch to while this store was being rebuilt. The Cornerstone Plaza store is Cocoa Beach’s other Publix. It’s located about 2 miles north of here on the Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral city line. The First Merritt store is the next closest store to the west, located 5 miles away on the Route 520 Causeway in Merritt Island. The Atlantic Plaza store in Satellite Beach is a whopping 11 miles away, but it’s the next closest store going south on A1A. Even with all of these other Publix stores around, there’s also the nice new Winn-Dixie just a few blocks north of this store for shoppers to turn to. I’m sure they’re glad this Publix is going to be out of commission for nearly a year!

     If you were looking for tacky closing signage plastered everywhere, markdowns galore, and merchandise strewn all about, then you’ve come to the wrong store closing! (Hearing that news, Retail Retell commented, "Darn! Guess I'll have to go try and find a Kmart somewhere...") This empty space where bins of promotional items once were and some empty endcaps were about the only tell-tale signs of a store closing in this place (not counting those signs in the vestibule). Everything else was operating like it was any other day. There was even a stock crew out when I was here on this second to last day in business, neatly placing items in their proper place on the shelf, and the bakery and deli were still cranking out fresh foods. Keeping it classy all the way to the bitter end – that’s Publix for you!

     Turning the other way to look toward the deli, we can see a few of the now-empty endcaps. I knew going up here that Publix closings weren’t very exciting, but I figured I might as well stop in just to experience personally what it was like (and it turn share it all with you guys), as well as to walk around the first Publix I’ve ever been to one last time (while open, anyway). Just seeing some of the excess emptiness up front like this was pretty strange to see. As Retail Retell said, "Yeah, that is always a sad sight, especially in a store you've got connections to. Glad you were able to visit it one last time before it closed!" I thought with the recent passing of Hurricane Irma that I wouldn't be able to make it up here one last time, but thankfully everything managed to work out in the end!

     Around back, there were even more empty endcaps to be seen. All of the promotional displays and signage that used to be back here were also taken down, making the back aisle feel unusually spacious.

     A perfectly stocked and straightened cereal aisle. It’s probably hard to believe from this photo that we’re looking at a store that will be closed in less than 48 hours! As Retail Retell said, "Ah, Publix XD"

     Those stains on the ceiling are not very Publix-like! In this part of the store there were a good number of these ceiling stains from leaks in the roof. Most of these stains probably came from the effects of Hurricane Irma, but they also seem to imply that this store was beginning to have roof issues. If that was the case, and with Publix being Publix, of course they would just put a new store here instead of trying to fix the roof! If this store wasn’t about to be closed, you could bet these stained tiles would have been changed out almost as soon as the stains themselves appeared, as Publix would never, ever, let something like this slide by in any normal case. As Retail Retell said, "Wow! Yeah, this is a very rare sight!" l_dawg2000 had a different interpretation of this sight: "Wow, looks more like a typical Kroger photo!"

     Another look across the back of the store, this time from near produce. While most of the endcaps back here were empty, the meat cases were still fully stocked. In this photo, you can even see one of the meat department employees restocking the coolers. Considering there was way too much merchandise left in this store to be sold off with only one day left in operation, I’m assuming Publix packs up any merchandise that was left over and ships it to other stores in the area, but I don’t know for sure what happens.

     Also as expected, a fully stocked bakery and deli were still going strong only 48 hours away from this store’s impending closure.

     Our last photo of this store brings us back to the now spacious front end. Other than the odd feeling of emptiness up front, things felt rather normal throughout the rest of the store two days away from closure. My cashier this day actually commented on how odd the store was beginning to feel as the displays were being taken down, but I’m sure the closing experience was even more striking to the employees compared to what the shoppers were experiencing. As for the employees (in case you were curious), when a Publix is closed to be rebuilt, all of the employees are transferred to other Publix stores in the area for the duration of construction, and are then brought back to the new store once it opens.

     It’s not anything too exciting, but these were the “souvenirs” from my final trip to Publix #107 while it was still in business. On the top was my receipt from this day, and on the bottom was a price tag I took from an empty shelf in the cleaning aisle.

     While that’s all I have from Publix #107 while it was still in business, there’s still plenty more to cover here! The final portion of this post contains Part 3 of this photo chronicle – post-closure. I personally believe this part is the most exciting one of this entire photo series, with some interesting perspectives of this store after it closed. Let us delve into those photos now...

     A week and a half after our last visit, I ventured up to Cocoa Beach yet again to see Publix #107 in its abandoned state before demolition was to begin. With the main sign nothing more than a labelscar and the lights off, this placed looked just like any abandoned supermarket should.

     Here is another look across the abandoned exterior of this once lively store. However, I didn’t drive all the way up here again just to photograph the exterior of an abandoned supermarket (not like that’s something I wouldn’t do)…

     Yes, we’re going to go for a walk around the inside of the abandoned Publix! The particular day I came up here was the morning of the fixtures liquidation auction. With the store cleaned out of merchandise, the entire place was left open for buyers of fixtures to roam around in, leaving me to get some interesting photos I wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise. This was one of the more fun retail photography experiences I’ve had by far. Due to a time crunch, I didn’t stick around to participate in any of the auction bidding itself (I left just as the auction was starting), but just coming up here for the photos was well worth the trip! Not only that, but leaving early probably helped save me a lot of money on large signs and other junk that I really don’t have the space for anyway!

     Moving into the main part of the store, we see the barren front end first. All of the departments had been stripped of their signage, as you can see here with the pharmacy and deli in the background. Even though most of the décor was rather new, Publix wasn’t saving any of it (or any of the equipment either). The new store will have brand new everything.

     One of the stripped down register stands, which were all fairly new themselves. The one thing I would have really liked to get my hands on from this auction was one of the Publix register light cubes. Those things are the perfect size to be retrofitted into a lampshade, and I think putting one on a lamp base would look really cool if I could figure out a way to do it! Unfortunately, the light cubes were all taken down after the store closed, probably because they said ‘Publix’ on the side of them. So even if I did stay for the auction, I wouldn’t have been able to get one. Anyway, Publix was at least kind enough to leave the light bulbs though for whoever bought these!

     Classy Market alphabet soup. All of the department signage lettering was piled on top of the last few checkstands. I think it was being sold off by department, but it may have been one big lot of letters for all I know. The alphabet soup you see here is a combination of the letters from the Produce department sign and from the Thank You for Shopping Publix sign. While these letters look like they’re made of some kind of shiny polished metal, you are very wrong with that – they’re actually shiny polished foam (and weigh practically nothing if you pick one up – probably what they were going for if one of these letters came loose from the wall)! As YonWooRetail2, Retail Retell, and Fifteen Five-O-One said (respectively): "I've always wondered what these were made of. I thought they were made of wood, but foam would be a lot cheaper and wouldn't hurt if they fell on you." and "Nice title! And yep, same exact situation with the Thank You for Shopping letters that I wound up with (although that Public Restrooms sign was indeed made of wood - ouch!). It's amazing how they can make the foam look so much like another material!" and "The letters in Kroger’s bountiful decor are also made out of foam, but some of them have a sheet of metal on top. I thought Publix would have been the same, but now I know that they’re all foam" Yes, the letters were all foam, however they do a very good job at making the letters not seem like foam from the sales floor. The shiny smooth side that faces customers was just a thin peel and stick coating over the foam.

     The Dairy department sign was laid out on this register, which I believe was the one closest to the customer service desk (where the auctioneers were set up for registration and payment). The old greeting card and beach toy department in front of the registers became home to various odds and ends from the back offices, such as chairs, money holders, office supplies, etc.

     Aisle 1, the dairy department, is now home to nothing by empty rows of coolers.

     Now here’s where some of the more interesting stuff begins! Near the end of the dairy aisle is a doorway into the backroom. Upon going through said door, immediately on the left is this walk in dairy cooler. In here is where all of the dairy products (and presumably the chilled beer, which was also in aisle 1) were kept before going out onto the floor. That opening on the left side of the cooler was so the milk could be refilled from behind, rather than having an employee carry the milk around front to stock the cooler.

     Leaving the cooler and walking back toward the front of the store, here’s an overview of the backroom space that lines the right side of the building from customer service to the back wall. I believe this area was where much of the dry grocery backstock was kept, although there was some additional room in the actual back of the store for more overstock.

     Turning around from the vantage point of the last photo, to my left was a small opening which contained this staircase. I wonder what’s up there…

     Climbing to the top of the stairs, we find the employee breakroom. The breakroom was located in the front right corner of the store, over the customer service desk and restrooms. From the main salesfloor, you’d have never thought there was this “secret” second floor over it. This is the view into the breakroom from the top of the stairs. As YonWooRetail2 said, "This is interesting! I never knew Publix had upstairs offices in their old stores like Albertsons does/did. Although it looks like Publix elected to not have a long window to enable management to have overhead surveillance of the store like at Albertsons." I didn't know this either - the stairs were a bit of a surprise to me! This was the entirety of the second floor, and there wasn't any other one hidden around back.

     Here is another overview of the breakroom, with this photo taken from the corner where the black server panel was located (as can be seen in the other breakroom photo). The lockers were behind me, with the refrigerator and other counter space located next to the staircase. And everything in here was up for bids too – even the kitchen breakroom sink!

     Going back downstairs and through the backroom corridors, we find this area in the back right corner of the building. This is where all of the trash was kept/collected. The square door on the left side of the photo (with the steps leading up to it) was the trash compactor, with the roll-up door used to take larger items outside (such as old fixtures, pallet stacks, cardboard bales, etc.). The small door to the left of the roll-up door was for employee access to the dumpster. The cardboard baler was behind me, which I didn’t get a photo of. And yes, everything was for sale in this photo too, including the forklift and the even back door itself!

     Moving further along the back wall, away from the trash area, we find another open area for grocery backstock. Behind me this corridor narrowed to allow space for a bunch of small rooms used for a variety of storage purposes. Through that corridor one could then find the service department backrooms and the receiving area. As l_dawg2000 noted, "Even the non-salesfloor areas of a Publix are fairly clean and uncluttered!"

     Turning around from the previous photo, we see more of the open space and shelving for grocery back stock. As you can see in the distance, this open space narrows down into a hallway that a bunch of little rooms branch off of. We’ll take a quick look at some of those in a moment…

     Remember the classic photo collage from earlier in this post, the one this store had prior to its remodel in 2016? It seems like not all of the photos from the collage found their way to the dumpster back then. I’m not sure what purpose this particular room served (it was either an office of some kind or storage room), but some of the photos from the collage were placed in here and stacked against the wall instead of trashed during the remodel. These were one of the many tempting goodies I probably would have bid on if I was able to stay through the auction, but then again, I wouldn’t have the slightest clue where to hang a 6 foot wide by 3 foot tall Publix sign in my house (let alone store if I couldn’t find a place to hang it)! And in case you were wondering, all of these signs were made of paper stuck on top of 1 inch think foam to make them sturdier. As Retail Retell always says, "Very neat! As I always say, a photo is the next best thing :D" (And much easier to store too!)

     Branching off of the room where I found the photo collage signs was this…room?...Hall? I’m not really sure what this weird little space would be considered, or why someone thought this design was a good idea. This narrow little opening would take one to an electrical panel (located on the wall to the left, out of view under the light). From there the corridor narrowed in width to about a foot wide and shortly thereafter dead ended at another wall for no apparent reason. This photo was taken at the opening into this space, although I did go in here after taking this photo. Yes, it was very claustrophobic!

     Since these rooms were rather small, it was difficult getting a photographic overview of them. This room was the janitorial room, where the cleaning supplies and drain basin were located.

     Also back here were a number of rooms with electrical panels and wires in them. This room contained all of the panels and wires that linked together the store’s phone system, as well as provided room for storage on the opposite wall that did not contain any electrical panels. The only other small room I remember from back here (other than those additional electrical rooms) was a secondary breakroom for the employees in the meat department and probably the other departments on this side of the store (which I didn’t get a picture of). Beyond these small rooms, the back corridor led to access into the service departments in this part of the store (meat, seafood, and produce) as well as the receiving bays (which I didn’t get any photos of, since there were a bunch of people from the auction company hanging around that area taking stuff in and out of the building).

     We will quickly emerge from the backroom for this look across the back of the sales floor. From here we are looking toward the former meat and seafood departments, which have been stripped of their signage.

     Another look toward the former meat and seafood counter, a view which is somewhat obstructed by the shelving and that cooler though.

     Jumping “behind the scenes” once again, we find ourselves in the meat and seafood prep area. I took this photo from behind the service counter where the seafood would have once been displayed, looking toward the left side of the store. There were plenty of slicers, cutters, tables, and coolers back here to fulfill your butchering needs.

     Popping back out onto the sales floor, we find ourselves at the edge of the former produce department, looking back toward meat and seafood.

     Moving along into the produce department, where you could find plenty of coolers and display tables for sale. This photo was taken looking into the corner that once housed the small selection of bulk foods.

     The rest of the sales floor in the produce department was used for random fixtures that were probably pulled out of the back. The produce displays and coolers were all consolidated toward the back of the department in order to provide more space for the sale of other fixtures here.

     Looking along the left side wall of the produce department, where some of the produce coolers were taken apart prior to the auction. We also have a slightly glared look at the decorative artichoke photo that took up much of this wall.

     Leaving the sales floor once again, this time to take a look around the produce department prep area. It was back here where the in-store cut fruits were sliced and the vegetable platters were put together, probably among other things. This photo is looking from the back left corner toward the meat department prep area.

     Here is yet another view of the produce department prep area, this time looking into the back left corner. The opening to the right led into the store’s receiving area. As YonWooRetail2 complimented, "You really got some neat perspectives of this store photographed! Nice job!"

     Now leaving produce, we find ourselves looking back toward the deli and bakery departments along the store’s left side wall. Here we see the empty greeting cards rack to my left, as well as part of the empty floral department to my right.

     Moving up just a little bit further, we can see the deli and bakery much better (if you ignore the slight blurriness!). It was weird seeing these two departments set up like normal, but with nothing in the cases or on the racks. The display tables from the sales floor and some extra racks from behind the counter were all pushed together in front of the bakery and deli to take advantage of the large open space.

     Now to pop behind the counter for a look at where all of the Publix bakery magic happens. The entire wall was lined with large ovens, and the center of the prep area was lined with other baking equipment (including a large butcher block table located just behind me, which some lady really wanted to buy for her dining room – she was so excited about that table, she had to stop me and tell me all about it randomly!). 

     Moving back out to the sales floor for another bakery close-up, which also includes some of those racks wheeled out onto the sales floor for the auction.

     Between the deli and bakery prep areas was a glass covered bulletin board, where different messages about safety and store policies were to be posted. Included on that bulletin board was this nice detailed map of Publix #107! I wanted this map as my souvenir of this store, but of course, the glass panel on this side of the bulletin board was locked! (The other side wasn’t locked, but I couldn’t stick my fingers through to the other side to get the map.) The best stuff always has to be stuck to (or in this case, locked inside of) something! In regard to this map, our in-house Publix expert duckman66 had this insight to provide about this store's layout: "Move the deli to the lower left, the bakery on the upper right of the diagram, drinks/wine to aisle 11, and Frozen Food to aisle 12, that's the layout of a typical Publix built from the early 1960's until store 309 in 1985-1986. (310 in Tampa on Gandy has the late 80's-early 90's split vestibule, newest unremodeled with single vestibule that's still open appears to be 306 in Gainesville.) From about store 240 or so and newer, the enclosed vestibule was included in the initial construction of the store."

     Please take a number. The current wait time at the Publix deli looks to be about a year, so you might want to come back for your Pub Sub a little bit later!

     Now that we’ve looked around the bakery, the deli is the next stop on this post closure tour of Publix #107. As was the case in the bakery, the sales floor space in front of the deli was being used to house equipment wheeled over from other parts of this department.

     It’s now time for the more interesting behind-the-counter perspectives from the deli department. Here we are looking from the part of the deli closest to the bakery, looking into the corner where all of the prepared foods would be, well, prepared. To my left is the main deli counter where all of the meats, cheeses, and various other cold cuts would be on display, with the slicers to my right.

     Moving away from the main counter, we enter the front left corner of the store. Back here (located to the left in this photo) were the fryers for Publix’s famous fried chicken tenders (amongst other things, like the fried fish and potato wedges). Going further back was the chicken rotisserie, the popcorn machine, and a walk in cooler. Behind me was the prep area for sub sandwiches (which I’m beginning to have a craving for after writing all of these descriptions about the Publix deli!).

     After spending so much time looking through the back rooms and the service departments, I’ve neglected much of the main sales floor until now. For the remainder of this post (which is almost over – I know this one has been quite long!) we’ll mostly be looking around the empty sales floor (although I do have a quick peek inside the pharmacy, coming up a little later). Here we see one of the empty frozen foods aisles, looking from the back of the store toward the front.

     Another empty aisle. This one housed the remainder of the frozen foods on one side and chips and snacks on the other.

     This empty aisle once housed the baby supplies and health and beauty products.

     Another empty grocery aisle, which I believe was aisle 8. Like the former health and beauty aisle, many of the store’s old shopping carts were lined up in this aisle for sale during the auction.

     More empty aisles.

     Even more emptiness. There was no shortage of empty aisles to photograph in this place!

     Here’s a short video I took walking down one of the empty aisles, then heading toward the former meat and seafood counter. We’ve see most of these views before, but I thought a short video of this place would provide an interesting perspective. Also, this is the first time I've ever uploaded a video into Blogger, so hopefully this works for everyone!

     The last stop on our post-closure tour of Publix #107 brings us to the former pharmacy box. This is an extreme close-up of the side of the pharmacy that faced the registers, as I was trying to get a photo of the pharmacy department signage set on top of the empty medicine shelves. You think those signs are made of wood? Wrong! Those signs, like the rest in the store, were made of foam.

     Since this store’s pharmacy was a later addition (placed in a small corner of the store between the registers and the deli), it’s not quite as spacious as a more modern Publix pharmacy. I took this photo from the back of the pharmacy box, looking toward the front counter where the pharmacy registers would have been.

     A final look at this store’s interior, across the front end, as we prepare to head outside for the last time.

     After all of this time, that’s a wrap from Publix #107! Nine months after this photo was taken, a brand new Publix would be opening in this very spot. That new Publix will be our destination for the next My Florida Retail Post, so stick around!

So until then,



  1. Unfortunately, I can't get the video to work on my end :(

  2. That play button is just an image, so the video will not play unless if you press the movie icon while editing a post (Same thing for uploading a video that is past 100 megabytes on Blogger)