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Norcross Publix to close in September

NORCROSS - The Jimmy Carter Boulevard area has another empty big box to fill.

Publix will close its store at 6131 South Norcross Tucker Road because sales continued to decline, said company spokeswoman Brenda Reid.

The last day of business is Sept. 9.

The Publix, a fixture in the community for years, is also in the heart of an area where the Latino population is soaring. Although Publix took several specific steps to capture those customers - stocking Hispanic pastries, offering more thin sliced meats for enchiladas, working directly with Mexican vendors - it wasn't enough, Reid said.

"We were trying to target the Latino population, but, unfortunately, they were not shopping with us," Reid said.

The area has several Latino mom-and-pop stores that proved tough competition for the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocery giant, which in the Atlanta market is more often associated with traditional brands.

Publix leaving South Norcross Tucker Road is a setback for Gwinnett Village, the community improvement district that uses additional taxes to funnel toward better security, upgraded streets and sidewalks in the Jimmy Carter Boulevard area.

However, Reid said the Publix has already been subleased and should not remain shuttered long.