In NYC, Publix isn’t a big deal. But if you are from the Southeast, particularly Florida, Publix is a little slice of heaven disguised as a grocery store. And when a new location opens, that’s occasion for big news. Recently, residents of Central Florida and Northern Alabama both got new Publix stores. Both openings made huge local news.
Here’s why …When George Jenkins founded the first Publix store in the 1930s, he began a longstanding commitment to service and trendsetting his legions of customers love. “Mr. George” used to tell people to “do what you do, and do it well.” What he did best was understand his customers. Jenkins was one of the first – if not the first – grocer to invest heavily in “new” tech such as doors that open themselves. Now customers could come and go without touching the door.
Another popular move? The no questions asked returns policy. If your meal has not been “eaten and enjoyed” you can bring whatever you want back for a replacement or full refund, no questions asked. And, if an item is mispriced on the shelf, you get it for free, based on a protocol known as the “Publix Promise.”
Put all that together with the friendliest employees in the business and add a renowned bakery and deli department, and you have the recipe for grocery dominance. And dominate is exactly what Publix has done in every single market it enters. Add Publix and, in a few years, you will see Publix and Walmart while all other competitors struggle to remain both relevant and viable.
During Publix’s surge in Florida and across the Southeast, several competitors have been driven out of business by Walmart and Target Supercenters. Not Publix. The chain thrives, no matter the competition.
Part of that winning recipe is that the company is employee owned. Every full timer gets stock in the company for every year of service, and every worker can buy stock on top of that. Full timers also get annual bonuses based on stock performance and individual store sales. Meaning, everyone in a green apron has a distinct financial reason to “make shopping a pleasure” as Publix’s brand slogan trumpets.
The store reached just about every corner of Florida decades ago and has now expanded to nearly 1,000 locations in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and both Carolinas. Expansion plans continue as Publix continues to buy out dying chains or builds new locations in underserved areas.
Everywhere they go, Publix sets a new standard for quality and customer service, motivated by dedicated employees who know their paycheck literally depend on how well their store performs.