Publix's expansion plan has a new leader
The grocery chain has promoted Bob Balcerak to Vice President of Real Estate Strategy.
“Promoting associates from within the company is one of the ways we perpetuate our Publix culture,” said CEO & President Todd Jones. “Bob will play a critical role as we continue our focus on store growth.”
Balcerak, 56, started his Publix career in 1993 as a part-time meat cutter. After a series of promotions, he became assistant store manager in 1999, real estate manager in 2000 and director of real estate strategy in 2011. As vice president, he will oversee the selection of new sites and management of leased properties for Publix stores.
Publix has been tight-lipped about its real estate strategy, but the company has been buying up commercial property as it looks to expand up the East Coast. Publix is also becoming not just the owner of its own retail centers but also landlord to neighboring stores.
Publix opened 32 new stores in 2016 and remodeled 156. Last year, capital expenditures totaled $1.4 billion; in 2017, Publix forecasts it will spend $1.85 billion, primarily on opening new stores.
Publix is privately owned and operated by its 190,000 employees, with 2016 sales of $34 billion. Currently Publix has 1,146 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.