Popular Florida grocery chain Publix Super Markets has confirmed it is under contract to buy five Lucky’s Market leases in Florida; and German discount grocery chain Aldi has confirmed it is in negotiations for several of the locations in the state, as well.

The Niwot, Colorado-based Lucky’s, in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Jan. 27, said it has signed an asset purchase agreement for five leased stores and one owned property that is subject to court approval and an overbidding process. All six of those stores are in Florida, according to the filing.

The five locations in Publix’s purchase agreement are in:

Orlando, at 3171 S. Orange Ave.
Clermont
Ormond Beach
Naples
Neptune Beach
“I can confirm that we are under contract to purchase five Lucky’s leases,” Maria Brous, spokeswoman for Publix, told Orlando Business Journal via an emailed response, listing the five locations above. “We are currently in the due diligence process.”

Lakeland-based Publix, which reported annual revenue of $36.1 billion in 2018, has more than 140 Central Florida locations.

Meanwhile, Dan Gavin, vice president of national real estate for Aldi U.S., confirmed in an email to Orlando Business Journal that the company is in negotiation for several Lucky’s market locations. “Among other innovative real estate strategies, site acquisitions are an important part of our growth efforts. We are pleased to continue to invest in Florida.”

Lucky’s representatives couldn’t be reached for comment. That grocery chain plans to close 32 of its 39 U.S. stores, including 20 of its 21 Florida stores, with only its West Melbourne store remaining open.

Aldi, which hasn’t confirmed the locations it is negotiating for, could open as many as 20 new Florida stores in 2020, according to Gavin.

Aldi has more than 144 stores and two distribution centers in Florida. Its most recent Central Florida store opening was on Jan. 16 at 7820 Osceola Polk Line Road in Davenport. The grocery chain, which opened its first Florida store in 2008, has 1,800-plus locations across 35 states. As part of a $5 billion national remodel and expansion plan, the chain aims to have 2,500 locations nationwide by 2022. The company also offers delivery throughout Florida with Instacart, which started in October 2018.

Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2020/01/27/confirmed-aldi-to-buy-6-luckys-market-locations-in.html