( File photo by The Packer staff )

The new coronavirus COVID-19 hasn’t changed one reality: Publix has an iron grip on Florida grocery sales. 

Walmart runs a distant second among Florida’s grocery retailers, according to 2020 market share numbers from Shelby Market Research.

In South Florida, Shelby reports that Publix commanded a market share of 60.2% in the first quarter of 2020, trailed by Walmart with a 12.54% share.

In central Florida, Shelby said Publix’s market share was 52.9%, with Walmart’s at 18.9%.

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In North Florida, Shelby reported Publix had a 46.6% share, followed Walmart with a nearly 20% share.

The COVID-19 crisis has increased retail sales but decreased the frequency of shopper visits. 

Publix reported sales for the three months ending March 28 increased approximately $1 billion or 10.3% because of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

While retail sales are up, unacast.com reported that for the week of May 6, Florida’s retail grocery shopping trips were down 32% compared with year-ago levels.

Related to COVID-19 relief, Publix on May 5 said it had purchased more than 1 million pounds of fruits and vegetables to donate to Feeding America member food banks. 

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