A representative from Flowers Plantation has confirmed Publix will be building a new grocery store location near Clayton.
Reid Stephenson, a spokesperson for Flowers Plantation, appeared before Johnston County Commissioners Monday night saying “it’s official” that Publix would locate in the growing area off Highway 42 East.
Earlier this year, Publix filed plans with the NC Department of Environmental Quality for a 46,000 square foot grocery store on Highway 42 at South Flowers Parkway. Harris Teeter is already located in the same area.
Stephenson did not say when construction would begin.
Chris Johnson, Director of Economic Development for Johnston County, was not at Monday night’s meeting. When contacted Tuesday morning by JoCoReport, Johnson said, “In speaking with the Planning Department, they are under the impression (based on Mr. Stephenson’s comments as well) that the Publix project is official and locating to the area. Various preliminary designs have been submitted, but it is my understanding that final design drawing have not been submitted.”
Publix is based in Lakeland, Florida and has 1,229 store locations in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. According to the company website, they are the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the US, with more than 200,000 employees. Retails sales in 2018 reached $36.1 billion. Publix has 44 stores in North Carolina. In addition they have 9 distribution centers and 11 manufacturing facilities including bakery and dairy plants, printing services, and fresh foods in the Southeast.