FORT MILL — Publix will open its Fort Mill and Indian Land stores at 7 a.m. Oct. 24. These will be the first Publix stores in the area. The company is planning to open another in the south Charlotte Ballantyne community in early 2014.
The stores will include an artisan cheese shop, a salad and soup bar and a Pacific wok hot bar, with sweet and sour chicken, vegetable lo-mein and more.
The stores will offer free Wi-Fi and a seating area for customers. An event planning center will give customers free assistance in planning for special occasions and take orders for cakes, food platters and floral arrangements.
One of Publix’s most popular store features is Aprons Simple Meals, District Manager Rich DiRocco said. Aprons is a live cooking demonstration offered daily in a built-in kitchen area in the store.
“Most customers walk into the grocery store not knowing necessarily what’s for dinner anymore. This gives them a one-stop shop. They can walk up, experience the recipe, taste the recipe, and we have the ingredients right there with a recipe card,” DiRocco said.
Both stores will also have a pharmacy with drive-thru window.
The first 1,000 customers at each location will receive a free Publix reusable grocery bag. Flowers will be given to customers while supplies last.
The first 25 customers who purchase $50 or more in groceries will receive a free bag of groceries valued at $25.
The Fort Mill and Indian Land stores will have activities for children from 3 to 7 p.m., including a magician, balloon and caricature artist.
Throughout the day, customers can register to win prizes including a store gift card, cake, deli platter or products from the meat and seafood departments.
The stores will celebrate their grand openings by holding special events in store each day for several weeks.
A list of in-store activities will be published soon, DiRocco said.
“Each day customers can expect different things in the stores,” he said.
The stores have hired for all positions but “we’re always looking for good candidates,” said DiRocco.
People can apply online or in stores when they open.
Associates have been training for several months, DiRocco said.
Because these will be the first Publix stores in the area, associates were sent to Publix stores in other cities, including Atlanta, for hands-on training.
“We try to provide the most training up front so the associate feels comfortable,” he said.