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Grocery store wars heat up

DAYTONA BEACH — The area’s first Lucky’s Market roared out of the gate in Ormond Beach earlier this month and continues to draw hordes of shoppers more than a week after its grand opening.

“Oh my gosh, it’s been phenomenal. The crowds keep coming,” said Melissa Bradford, store director for the beachside Lucky’s at 101 E. Granada Blvd., on Thursday.

But the upscale Colorado-based grocer is just one of a number of national supermarket chains expanding their presence in the greater Daytona Beach area.

Others include ALDI, the German-based discount grocer that is set to open a new store in Ormond Beach along West Granada Boulevard this fall, as well as Lakeland-based Publix Supermarkets, which is opening a 54,000-square-foot store at New Smyrna Beach Regional Shopping Center on May 23 that will be its largest in the Volusia-Flagler area.

Publix is also set to open a store this fall off of LPGA Boulevard in Daytona Beach, just west of Interstate 95.

The store will become the anchor tenant of a shopping center called Latitude Landings next to the entrance of the fast-growing Jimmy Buffett-themed Latitude Margaritaville 55-and-older community.

Lucky’s is also believed to be considering a second store in the area at the northeast corner of LPGA and Williamson boulevards in Daytona Beach.

And developers have proposed grocery store-anchored projects in both downtown Daytona Beach and Port Orange.

In addition, Sam’s Club is nearing completion of a new membership warehouse store on the southeast quadrant of the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange.

The 140,000-square-foot store at Tomoka Town Center, which is set to open in either late July or early August, will replace the existing nearly 30-year-old Sam’s Club store on Beville Road.

The increase in supermarkets here comes amid a growing battle among grocers both locally and nationally that includes e-commerce giant Amazon and Internet home delivery meal kit providers such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh.

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Daytona Sam’s Club set to move to new store on LPGA

DAYTONA BEACH — The longtime Sam’s Club store here will close its current location on Beville Road in late July or early August and reopen in its new building that’s nearing completion on LPGA Boulevard near Interstate 95, the store’s general manager has confirmed.

The new store is located just north of Tanger Outlets mall and is part of the 235-acre Tomoka Town Center that includes a separate “power lifestyle” shopping center that is being developed by North American Development Group.

Sam’s isn’t the only local store to relocate to Tomoka Town Center. Others that have already made the move include Burlington, Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx and Ross Dress For Less.

Plans for the soon-to-be-vacated store have yet to be announced by parent company Walmart Stores Inc., said Sam’s Club General Manager Mike Mitchener. “I’m not sure what their intentions are,” he said.

What is known is that the current store’s 175 employees will be transferred to the new location, though some may choose not to make the move.

“Our intentions are to transfer everybody,” said Mitchener.

The new 140,000-square-foot store is roughly the same size as the current Daytona Beach Sam’s Club that opened in 1991 six miles to the south at 1175 Beville Road, according to Mitchener.

It is the only new Sam’s Club store that the membership warehouse chain plans to open in North America this year, confirmed Laura Poff, a spokeswoman for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain. The chain is, however, opening some e-commerce “fulfillment centers,” including one planned in Tampa.

John Albright, the president and CEO of Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., the company that sold the site off LPGA where the new Sam’s Club is set to soon open, said he believes it will prove to be a good move for the membership warehouse chain.

“Clearly, they jumped to a better site that’s more central to (the area’s) population growth,” he said.

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