The sign on the door of the new Seville Square Publix supermarket trumpeted the news: "Opening this Thursday.''
The countdown has been going on for weeks. The new store at 3030 54th Ave. S will open at 8 a.m., with employees handing out gifts to the first few hundred customers.
The supermarket will employ about 100 people. It is a former Albertsons, one of 49 Publix bought in Central and North Florida in 2008. Renovated and sporting Publix colors, the new store is almost within hollering distance of another Publix supermarket in the Bay Pointe Plaza shopping center at 5295 34th St. S.
"We have a loyal customer base and we feel that there's enough business in that area where we can sustain all the locations, and it's not uncommon for us to have multiple Publixes within close proximity of each other," spokeswoman Shannon Patten said.
A few months ago, the Lakeland company opened a new, larger supermarket — another former Albertsons — across the street from its popular Northeast Shopping Center store.
The new store in the Pinellas Point neighborhood is 58,900 square feet and has traditional grocery, meat, produce, dairy and frozen food departments. As well, there are full-service bakery, deli, seafood, meat and pharmacy sections. There's also a 3,800-square-foot liquor store.
"Because of the size of this store, we are able to have expanded offerings in all departments, and this store will have an expanded ethnic section,'' Patten said.
Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2283.