Top company by employee – 77 – Publix Super Markets – Florida US
Industry: Retail – Food/Grocery
Previous rank: 78
2011 revenue ($ millions): $27,178
What makes it so great?
The chain of more than 1,000 supermarkets in five Southeastern states boasts low full-time turnover of 3.2%—unheard of in the grocery industry.
Where Shopping Is A Pleasure
Winter Haven, Florida
|Founder(s)||George W. Jenkins|
|Headquarters||Lakeland, Florida, United States|
|Number of locations||1,072 Stores |
|Area served||Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina,Tennessee, Alabama|
|Key people||Todd Jones (President)
Howard M. Jenkins(Chairman)
William E. Crenshaw.(CEO).
|Products||Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, general grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor, lottery tickets, fuel, sushi, GreenWise, PIX, Western Union, money orders, dry ice, prepared foods|
|Services||Convenience/Forecourt Store, Other Specialty, Supermarket|
|Revenue||US$27.707 Billion (2012)|
|Operating income||US$ 2.261 billion (2011)|
|Net income||US$1.552 Billion (2012)|
|Total assets||US$ 12.278 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||US$ 8.341 billion (2011)|
Founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins, Publix is technically a private corporation that is wholly owned by present and past employees. It is currently ranked No. 67 on Fortune magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For 2011 and was ranked No. 6 on Forbes‘ 2011 list of America’s Largest Private Companies and is the largest in Florida. The company’s 2011 sales totaled US$27.1 billion, with profits of nearly $1.5 billion, ranking #106 on Fortune magazine’s Fortune 500 list of U.S. companies for 2012.Supermarket News ranked Publix No. 8 in the 2012 “Top 75 North American Food Retailers” based on 2008 fiscal year sales.Based on 2011 revenue, Publix is the fourteenth-largest US retailer. Publix’s current stock price is $26.90 per share though it is privately held and not available to the public.
In 2011, Publix announced they would be moving into the North Carolina market, first opening stores in Charlotte, North Carolina,and later announced construction of a new store in Asheville, North Carolina. The first North Carolina store is slated to open sometime in 2014.
Publix employs over 140,000 people at its 1,072 retail locations, cooking schools, corporate offices, eight grocery distribution centers, and nine Publix brand manufacturing facilities. The manufacturing facilities produce its dairy, deli, bakery, and other food products.
Publix stands as one of the largest US regional grocery chains, only one of a handful of chains operating over 1,000 locations. Its maincompetitors are national grocery chains IGA, Kroger, SuperValu, and Whole Foods; consolidated retail and warehouse chains, including Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club; and several regional grocery chains, including BI-LO,Harris Teeter, Fresh Market, Piggly Wiggly, Sweetbay, Winn-Dixie, and Ingles. Publix’s slogan is “Where Shopping is a Pleasure”.
George Jenkins opened the first Publix market in Winter Haven, Florida, on Sept. 6, 1930. In 1934, that store made $120,000 in sales. In 1935, he opened a second market, the Economy Food Store, also in Winter Haven. Despite the Great Depression, his stores were financially successful.
In 1940, Jenkins, affectionately called Mr. George by his employees, mortgaged an orange grove to build Florida’s first supermarket. His “food palace” had piped-in music, air conditioning, cold cases for frozen and refrigerated items, in-store donut and flower shops, and electric-eye automatic doors. During World War II, material shortages prevented him from building additional stores. In 1945, Jenkins purchased the 19-store All American chain of food stores and converted them into Publix Super Markets.
In 1951, Publix moved its headquarters from Winter Haven to Lakeland, Florida, and built its first distribution warehouse there. At the same time, they began to close the All American stores, replacing them with Publix markets. In 1956, Publix achieved $50 million in sales, and $1 million in profit. In 1957, the donut shop in each store was expanded into a full-service bakery.
By 1959, Publix was the dominant supermarket chain in Central Florida, and began expansion to southeast Florida. In 1963, the company built a distribution center in Miami, and began providing deli services. In 1970, sales surpassed $500 million; they reached $1 billion in 1974, when the chain expanded to include Jacksonville, Florida.
In 1982, the company launched the Presto! ATM network; it soon installed ATMs in every Publix. Sales exceeded $5 billion in 1989. The first Publix outside Florida opened inSavannah, Georgia, in 1991; distribution and manufacturing facilities in Lawrenceville, Georgia, soon followed. Publix further expanded into South Carolina (1993), Alabama (1996), and Tennessee (2002).
With the launch of PublixDirect on September 24, 2001, Publix attempted to enter the online grocery business, in hopes of serving the southeastern US. The slogan used was “Online Shopping, Home Delivery.” This occurred during the dot-com crash, alongside competitorWebvan‘s well-publicized failure. Publix found that demand for online grocery shopping in the Miami testing area was not as great as the company expected, and shut down PublixDirect on August 23, 2003.
Publix celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2005. During that time, it used the slogan “It’s Been Our Pleasure.”
Standalone Publix in Pompano Beach, Florida, with typical architecture of early 21st-century stores.
In early 2005, Publix renamed its checkout section from “Common Area” to “Customer Service”. This change coincided with a new color-and-design scheme of the store’s interior signage, which replaced the aging coral, navy blue, and sea green design with emerald green, tan, and gray. The former employee uniforms also began to be phased-out; each district has a selected store where employees wear the old uniforms, until none remain in the warehouses.
Publix completed the implementation of its new point of sale terminals (PRICE — Publix Retail Improved Checkout Experience) in 2006, replacing the previous generation of IBM 4690 terminals. The newer system combines a Hewlett-Packard RP5000 terminal with a touchscreen system, and an Epson thermal printer. A separate LCD screen for customers lists the last several items scanned, the running total of the bill, customer savings, recipe ideas, and Publix advertising. By September 2010, checkouts in all stores were expected to have card readers replaced with units featuring signature capture.
Publix Super Markets bought 49 Florida stores from Albertsons. The deal was announced on June 9, 2008, and was completed on September 9, 2008. It included 15 locations in North Florida, 30 in Central Florida and four in South Florida. The sale allowed Publix to operate four stores in a new market area for the company, Escambia County, Florida.
On February 5, 2009, Publix opened its 1,000th store in St. Augustine, Florida, allowing the company to become one of only five US grocery retailers to operate as many stores. The St. Augustine store is among Publix’s first stores designed to be energy efficient. The store includes motion sensor lights throughout the store, including on the freezer doors, and an overhead light system that can be controlled by each department.
In 2011, Publix completed a rollout of Oasis, a new timekeeping and labor forecasting system, company-wide. Oasis replaced the outdated People Planner labor management system that Publix used for almost two decades. Oasis provides a more accurate labor forecast for stores to generate schedules that fit their business needs. Selected stores throughout the company piloted Oasis beginning in 2009. With Oasis, associates will be able to view their schedules from their home computers and enter requests for time-off into a self-service workstation.
Each store provides specific products and services in its grocery, deli, bakery, produce, floral, meat, and seafood departments. Some stores have cafés, sushi bars, pharmacydepartments, and/or a liquor store.
Along with this, Publix provides a comprehensive “special order” service. Irregularly stocked or rare items from almost all departments, even some products carried only by Publix’s competitors, can be ordered through this service. This service includes some products that are normally only found at health food stores, including organic meats, fruits, andvegetables, in addition to vegetarian and vegan products; hypoallergenic foods, and other specialty food items. This service can be used at any Publix customer service counter.
The customer service counter also provides check cashing, money orders, Western Union services, Rug Doctor rentals, and lottery tickets. Some stores also provide Ticketmasterand/or DVD rental services. In December 2005, Publix discontinued its photo processing service, replacing it with an exclusively online, or mail-order service via the Snapfish program. The Snapfish agreement has since been terminated, and Publix no longer offers photo services.
Apron’s Simple Meals
A recent addition to the stores is its Apron’s cooking demonstrations, customers are encouraged to sample easy-to-make, nutritious dishes prepared at in-store kiosks and take a recipe card with them. All recipes are developed in-house, using easy-to-prepare or prepackaged ingredients, often available at the Apron’s kiosk.
Apron’s Make-Ahead Meals
Publix, in 2005, introduced its Apron’s Make-Ahead Meals concept, where customers could purchase six, eight, or twelve meals that they could assemble in-store. For an extra charge, an Apron’s associate would prepare and assemble the meals. These were standalone stores located in Jacksonville and Lithia, Florida. In summer 2009, Publix closed both Make-Ahead Meals locations citing lack of customer interest.
Apron’s Cooking School
Publix operates eight cooking schools as part of its Apron’s family. These schools are located in Boca Raton, Jacksonville, Plantation, Sarasota, Tampa, Tallahassee, Lakeland, Florida, and Alpharetta, Georgia. Classes are geared toward all cooks wanting to expand their repertoire and feature renowned chefs, authors, and cooking celebrities, as well as experienced cooking instructors. The classes are designed to teach skills including basic techniques and wine pairing. Publix also offers classes for children ages 8 to 12, with separate classes for 13- to 18-year-olds, and adults.
Publix GreenWise Markets
Publix GreenWise Markets is a concept the company introduced, in response to the increase in the number and profitability of health food stores. GreenWise Markets were created to increase awareness of nutrition; it focuses on organic and natural items. These stores are similar to the Whole Foods Market chain. Greenwise Markets is an expansion of a concept that began in the 2000s; most regular Publix stores have a GreenWise section. In addition to organic and traditional products, GreenWise Markets include salad and hot bars. The first six stores were set to be in Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, Vero Beach, Tampa, Naples, and Coral Springs, Florida. The first GreenWise Market opened on September 27, 2007 in Palm Beach Gardens. The second Publix GreenWise Market opened in Boca Raton on May 29, 2008, located in Boca Village Square. The third Publix GreenWise Market opened November 6, 2008, in Tampa’s Hyde Park neighborhood.
At this time, the company is focused on a “hybrid” concept where they integrate the greenwise concept into a traditional Publix store. These stores have a cafe, hot bar, and many items that you would find in a Greenwise store. A few of the locations are in Vero Beach, Naples, Tampa (Gandy Blvd), Viera, and Celebration.
Publix operates eight stores, branded “Publix Sabor” (“sabor” is Spanish for “flavor”), which cater to Hispanic Americans living in Florida and offer products for Hispanics. Four Publix Sabor locations are in Miami-Dade County in Greater Miami. They are the Hialeah Mercado location in Hialeah, the Miller Square Shopping Center in Kendale Lakes, and the Publix Sabor Coral Way Shopping Center location inWestchester. One Publix Sabor, Ventura Downs, is in Buenaventura Lakes, Osceola County, in Greater Orlando. A sixth location opened in Lake Worth in Palm Beach County in the summer of 2012.
Publix Sabor locations have bilingual English-Spanish employees, open seating cafés, and a wide selection of hot foods. Publix offers cafés and hot foods because many Hispanic Americans grew up in foreign cities which had open public squares where people socialize and eat.
Publix’s first in-store pharmacy was opened in 1986 in Altamonte Springs, Florida. By 1995, one-third of Publix stores had a pharmacy and today, approximately 81% of Publix stores include a pharmacy. Publix Pharmacies consistently ranked number one for customer satisfaction in supermarket pharmacies in several surveys conducted by independent research companies.
Publix announced in August 2007, that it would offer several types of free antibiotics to its customers. Customers must have a prescription; they are given a maximum of a two-week supply. Several medical professionals expressed concerns that this could contribute to anoveruse of antibiotics which leads to antibiotic resistance, a serious public health concern. These medications include:
- Cephalexin (capsules and suspension only)
- Ciprofloxacin (excluding Ciprofloxacin XR)
- Penicillin VK and
- Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (SMZ-TMP)
In March 2010, Publix announced the launch of another free prescription, Metformin for Type II Diabetes, the generic of Glucophage. Publix provides the medication in 500 mg, 850 mg and 1,000 mg strengths. The only restriction is a 30-day supply or up to 90 tablets, but refills are not limited.
In August 2011, Publix began offering Lisinopril, an ACE inhibitor that is used to prevent, treat, or improve symptoms of high blood pressure, certain heart conditions, diabetes, and certain chronic kidney conditions, as another free prescription. Customers can get a 30-day supply of this vital prescription for free at any Publix Pharmacy, up to a maximum of 30 days supply (up to 60 tablets). Lisinopril-HCTZ combination products are excluded. (http://www.publix.com/pharmacy/Free-Medications.do)
The Little Clinic
In early 2006, Publix and The Little Clinic signed an exclusive agreement to open medical clinics within Publix stores. The first clinics were opened in the Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and Tampa markets in the first half of 2006. The Little Clinic health-care centers are staffed by nurse practitioners who can write prescriptions, provide diagnosis and treatment of common ailments and minor injuries, and offer wellness care like physicals, screenings, and vaccinations. Effective May 9, 2011, Publix closed the Little Clinics in its stores in order to focus on its core pharmacy and grocery business.
In September 2010, Publix reported it started adding Blockbuster DVD rental kiosks to its stores, with the movie rentals starting at $1 per day. In 2010, Publix completed its rollout of Blockbuster Express kiosks to its stores.
In 2012, NCR sold its entertainment division, which includes the Blockbuster Express kiosks, to Coinstar, the owner of the Redbox DVD rental kiosks. Blockbuster Express machines were replaced with Redbox machines in most stores by the end of 2012.
Publix Pix and Publix Liquors
Publix also currently operates eleven Publix Pix gasoline–convenience stores. Locations are limited during the trial basis of the concept. In addition is Publix Liquors, a stand-aloneliquor store. The liquor sales will be in an area accessed via an entrance separated from the supermarket, as required by local laws. The company is modeling this after many other grocery chains. Currently, all Publix Pix locations are adjacent to a Publix Super Market. The company tested market response to liquor stores in the late 1980s, but closed the stores in 1989. It re-entered the market again in 2003 and has met with success since. Publix opened its first stand-alone liquor store in November 2009, in a former Albertson’s location in Orlando.
In 2002, Publix invested in the Lakeland-based restaurant chain Crispers, which concentrates on health-conscious fare. It increased its stake in 2004 before purchasing the remainder of the company in 2007. In May 2011, Publix announced it had sold the Crispers chain to Healthy Food Concepts LLC. The stores had not performed well during the downturn and in recent years Publix closed several units, leaving the chain with 36 stores when the sale was announced.
Publix is organized into departments grouped based on similar skills, expertise, work activities, and resource use, such as human resources, marketing, public affairs, manufacturing, and distribution. All the departments have specific resources that help it reach the organizational task, and each department only deals with their specific area and problems. Stores are made up of six departments (Customer Service, Grocery, Meat, Produce, Deli, Bakery and Pharmacy,) and are run by a Store Manager and Assistant Store Manager. When both of these managers are absent, operations are left to a Manager in Charge, typically a department manager or assistant department manager from Customer Service or Grocery.
The company, founded in 1930, has never had a layoff. It has a tuition reimbursement program originally designed for degree-seeking students, but has also become available to those taking individual courses or technical training, including online courses. The program is available to all Publix associates who work an average of 10 hours per week for six months.
In 1997, Publix reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit concerning gender discrimination filed by employees. Publix paid $81.5 million in damages to its female employees and made changes in its workplaces as a result.
- One of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” (1998–2012) –Fortune
- One of the Best Places to Work in IT (2005–2010) –Computerworld
- One of the “Best Companies to Work for in Florida” (2009) –Florida Trend
- Sustainability Excellence Award (2009) –Supermarket News
- One of the “Most Admired Companies” (1994–2009) –Fortune
- “Green Grocer” Award (2008) –Progressive Grocer magazine
- “Best Grocery Store” (2003–2004) –Florida Monthly magazine
- Winner of the Mid-Florida Society for Human Resource Management Diversity Award (2003)
- Received the Diversistar Award for excelling in promoting workplace diversity practices (2003)
- One of the Top 10 Family-Friendly Supermarkets (2003) –Child magazine
- The Governor’s Business Diversification Award – Business Expansion (2003)
- Catalyst Blue Ribbon Board of Fortune 500 Companies with Multiple Women Directors (1998–2002)
- One of the nation’s Outstanding Employers of Older Workers (2002)-Experience Works
- America’s Second Harvest Grocery Distributor of the Year Award (2001)
- One of the “Employers of Choice 500” (2001) –BestJobsUSA.com
- Special Olympics Florida Hall of Fame (2001)
- United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Merit Award 2000 (2000)
- One of the top companies for working families (1999) –Central Florida Family magazine
- March of Dimes Million Dollar Club Award (1999)
- Progressive Grocer “Retailer of the Year” Award (1998) –Progressive Grocer magazine
- United Way of America national Spirit of America Award (1996)
- One of the top 10 companies in the book, The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America (Currency/Doubleday, 1993)
Publix regularly conducts charity drives raising money and food for such charities as Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, United Way and various local food banks and soup kitchens such as Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen and Second Harvest North Florida.
In 2003, Publix supported a successful bill that prevents owners from suing if their land is polluted by dry cleaning chemicals dumped on an adjacent property, if the adjacent property owners are on a state clean-up list. Publix lost a 2001 lawsuit filed by an owner whose property had been contaminated in this manner.
On October 4, 2005, Publix sued Visa and MasterCard citing unfair business practices over their unannounced and non-negotiable increases in merchant account fees. Wal-Martwon a similar lawsuit against Visa in 2004.
Publix stock is restricted: it can only be owned by current or former associates or board members and cannot be sold outside the company without first being offered to the company for repurchase.
Publix offers stock to its associates through 3 programs: Profit plan (ESOP), Purchase plan, and 401(k) plan. The profit plan generally gives an associate who has worked 1000 hours in an anniversary year, 7-10% of the regularly pay earned in the form of free stock the following March 1. An associate must work three years to be vested in the plan. The plan is at no cost to the associate.
Publix associates may buy the stock outright in the Purchase plan, however there is a 1 year restriction on buying stock once it is sold.
Publix matches 50% of 3% of eligible wages through the 401(k) plan, up to $750 per year in matched contributions.
In addition, Publix offers stock to its Board of Directors through a separate plan.
The stock pays an semi-annual dividend on June 1 and December 1. The dividend has been steadily increasing since 2000 and yields just under 3%.
The stock was made available to associates in the late 1950s, priced at $2.50 per share. Discounting all splits, one share of Publix stock purchased in 1958 would be worth $23,200 in March 2013 (not including dividends). The stock has a compounded annual growth of 18% from 1958 to 2013. The price of Publix stock (as of August 1, 2013 based on an assessment by the Board of Directors) is $27.55.
|Supermarkets||GreenWise Markets||Publix Sabor||Publix Pix||Cooking schools||Event planning||Total stores|
Supermarket, Sabor, and Greenwise are considered “stores”. Publix Pix, Cooking schools, and event planning are part of actual stores and therefore do not count towards total store counts. (Publix does separate the pix in terms of store #, but does not count toward the number of actual stores in operation). In 2011, Publix announced they would expand into the North Carolina market with its first store in Charlotte. It is tentatively scheduled to open sometime in early 2014.
Distribution centers are located in:
Manufacturing facilities are located in:
Publix is organized into five divisions: Lakeland, Miami, Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Charlotte.