Top 10 Retail Center Experiences: No. 8 Butler Plaza

In a search for innovators in experiential retail, Chain Store Age asked readers to nominate retail centers worthy of being named among the Top 10 Retail Center Experiences in the nation. The editors’ picks continue with No. 8 Butler Plaza:

Butler Plaza

In 1939, the new experience that Plant City strawberry farmer Clark Butler brought to Gainesville, Fla., was the fresh produce that he sold on a corner stand.

“My dad’s store had curbside service so people never had to leave their car—we’ve been practicing the art of service and experience since day one,” said his daughter Deborah Butler, who now runs this retail mega-complex that constantly adjusts to the needs of its customer base.

It’s hard to name a need Butler does not fill. Encompassing 67 acres and three neighborhoods (including its own traffic light), Butler Plaza hosts two Publix supermarkets, a Walmart, a Target, a Sam’s Club, a Whole Foods, and a Lowe’s. There’s also a Regal Cinema and 35 dining options among the 2 million sq. ft. of GLA — and luxury retail and residences are coming soon to the new Butler Town Center.

Gainesville’s changed from Clark Butler's day. It’s home to the University of Florida, a large healthcare complex, and a flourishing biotech industry.

“Here we have this pocket of population growth in North Central Florida, and we intend to meet all their needs here,” Butler marketing director Mary Reichardt said.

This is the eighth post in a series profiling the 10 selections from CSA's 2018 Top 10 Retail Center Experiences. Stay tuned for daily profiles of the remaining two centers from now until Aug. 3. Until then, catch up on what you missed:

No. 1 Westfield Century City 

No. 2 River Oaks District

No. 3 Crocker Park

No. 4 Plano Market Street

No. 5 Irvine Spectrum Center

No. 6 Streets of St. Charles

No. 7 Santana Row

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