Sunday, March 6, 2016

AFB Presents - Publix's Wavy Pastel Interior!

     As you may or may not know, I've been trying to track down pictures of Publix's 90's interior, which I've named Wavy Pastel, for a while now. Up until this point, all I've been able to turn up were three pictures that someone posted to flickr a long time ago, featuring a few bits of it in the background of their photos (which can be seen here, here, and here), and this photo that I took at the former Avon Park Publix (scroll to the end of that post to see that store) shows some labelscars from the Wavy Pastel lettering. A few weeks back, a commentor over on Retail Retell's blog, The Mid-South Retail Blog, sent in a link to the website of an auction company that was selling off the fixtures at a closed Kroger in Memphis. Retail Retell did a post featuring that link, which lead me to start going through some of the other closed stores featured on that website that were selling off of their fixtures. Luckily enough, one store that auction company held an auction at was at a Publix that still retained most of its Wavy Pastel interior, which I will be featuring some pictures of here today: 

All the photos that will be featured in this post today are courtesy of Grafe Auctions, from

     The Publix where the auction was held at was the Indian Rocks Shopping Center Publix (Store #98), located in Largo, FL. That store was closed by Publix at the end of 2013 in order to tear down the old store and replace it with a new one. The new store (Store #1471) opened in the Fall of 2014. At the time this store closed, it was one of the very last stores to still have a mostly intact Wavy Pastel interior. The auction company has nearly 200 pictures they took of various items they were looking to sell, and some overviews of the store, which you can see in their original album here. I am only going to feature the more decor-centric photos below so I can finally give everyone a decent look at what Wavy Pastel looked like.

     Note: The following pictures aren't arranged in any particular order.

     While the register stands date back to the Wavy Pastel era, the register lights are from 1st Generation Classy Market, and the aisle markers are from Metallic Marketplace (more on that below). The original register lights looked like the ones in the background of this photo I linked to earlier, but were more of a greenish color instead of blue.

     Back in the early 2000's, around 2001 or so when Wavy Pastel's replacement, Metallic Marketplace, came out, Publix replaced the aisle markers in just about every store to the Metallic Marketplace blue and teal tri-sided ones. The original Wavy Pastel aisle markers were flat pastel orange rectangles, with the number in a pastel green inverted triangle in the middle of the sign (I hope I remembered those colors right, but I know the design is right).

     And now, some actual Wavy Pastel! I think everyone will be able to figure out now how I came up with the name.

     The main department signs looked like the "Service" one in the above photo, although the background color and the color of the wave changed for each department. Smaller signs that looked like the larger ones were also used throughout the store, some of which you will see in the coming photos.

     The metal awning that runs around much of the perimeter of the store was added in later Wavy Pastel remodels that occurred toward the end of the 90's. The Palm Bay Center Publix in Palm Bay, FL still has that metal awning to this day (see here), although many of the awnings that have survived into the Classy Market era have been getting ripped out in the latest round of remodels.

     The old wall tilework in the deli. This is actually pretty bland compared to what Publix does now for tilework in the deli, and most of the other service departments for that matter.

     A better look at some of the smaller Wavy Pastel signs.

     Here's that "Variety ♦ Value ♦ Quality ♦ Service" signage that we saw in the labelscar at the Avon Park Publix. However, in the vestibule at the Avon Park store, the letters would have been in blue.

      Even with what little updating this store received since the late 90's, the bakery was given a decent remodel in the early 2010's to bring it into the 2nd Generation Classy Market era.

     If you want to see more pictures of this store, here's another link to the photo album I mentioned earlier on Grafe Auction's website. Hopefully everyone who doesn't remember 90's Publix very well or at all can now visualize this era of Publix a little better. I still to this day picture a stereotypical Publix as having Wavy Pastel or Metallic Marketplace. Those interiors were uniquely Publix. While 3rd Generation Classy Market is nice, I see pictures of other stores using similar ideas and concepts fairly often. No matter how hard you look, I don't think you'll find anything anywhere else that looks vaguely close to Wavy Pastel. 

     Coming up in two weeks, I have another interesting find to feature from Grafe Auction's website. If what I found is what I think it was, I really can't believe this lasted like it did until 2014! In the meantime though, I have some more Albertsons coming up next Sunday for everyone.

So until then,

The Albertsons Florida Blogger


  1. Thanks for the links, and glad you were able to make so much of the one the commenter left! This décor is pretty awesome! It's been forever since I've been in a Winn-Dixie, but the pictures I've seen of them (majority unremodeled, unlike how Publix keeps their stores) seem pretty similar to this décor with that 90s muted feel ("pastel" is a really good word for it), and since I love 90s stuff, that's a compliment from me :P Looking forward to the other cool thing you found!

    1. You're welcome! 90's stuff is great, ins't it? There was a lot of good stuff on that website, but this set made my day. It's been so long since I've seen Wavy Pastel. By 2012 Publix had pretty much decimated whatever remnants of it were left, and I'm pretty sure that by now it's 100% gone from all remaining Publix stores. Even though that's more than likely the case, I still have to peek through the window when I come across an older Publix in my travels thinking that maybe, just maybe, I'll see a pastel wave inside. Just about every Florida based supermarket chain used pastel color schemes for their decor though the late 90's, as Florida is typically associated with pastel colors. When earth tones began to grow in popularity in the 2000's, pastel took the back burner. Unlike with Publix, it's pretty easy to find a Winn-Dixie still stuck in the 90's (or a decade prior to that, even - which is one of many of their major problems with competing against Publix). Publix's 2nd Generation Classy Market, which came out in 2009, is currently on it's path to extinction!

  2. Except for some signage here and there, it appears #98 (expanded and overhauled in 1992) was left untouched during the last 21 years of its service life.