Where I live in Florida, the central portion, when you talk about grocery stores, the conversation begins and ends with Publix.
The Lakeland-based family grocery store chain has grown to mega-monster size in my lifetime. They've outlasted competition from other chains, including biggies like Albertsons and others to remain the go to place for food shopping.
Foolishly going out this week on Wednesday to get my Thanksgiving shopping done (and a week ahead, I thought I was being so clever. Not!), I popped into my local Publix and it looked like something from a zombie apocolypse movie -- shelves cleaned out to the back of anything that even resembled turkey or trimmings. A couple of turkey breasts left that weighed about the same as a cornish hen.
So I decided to run to my local Winn Dixie. It is catty corner to Publix in a nice little shopping center with oak trees in the parking lot and lots of cute quirkly little stores in the attached mall.
Inside, Winn Dixie looked like something out of a grocery store commercial -- fully stocked shelves as far as the eye could see, not an item out of place, in fact, it looked like no one had ever even been in there! And as I shopped, there were more employees than customers in the store. That's never a good sign.
I found a fully stocked freezer case with turkeys all standing upright side-by-side for easy shopping. Sadly, the "breast" brand was some off brand so I've no idea what I've purchased. But I got an 8.75# turkey breast. That's pretty freekin' big for a breast, so it doesn't matter if my son and his wife eat with me or not, I'm gonna have plenty of left overs :-)
But as I'm leaving I can't help but wonder how the place stays open. I may have to shop there more often just out of guilt, I kind of feel bad for the place.