George W. Jenkins opened his first Publix store in Winter Haven, Florida in 1930. The Publix name comes from a movie theater chain. Despite the depression, Mr. George opened another store 5 years later.
1940 – he closed the 2 small stores and built a state of the art “food palace.” It included things never seen before in a grocery store: marble, glass and stucco, and it didn’t stop there. It had innovations never seen before in a grocery store: air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, electric-eye doors, frozen food cases, piped-in music and aisles that were 8 feet wide. People traveled from miles and miles to shop there, and Publix prospered.
Today, Publix is the largest employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States with more than 1,018 locations in five states. Current employee count of more than 141,000 with 2008 retail sales of $23.9 billion. Publix has been selected as one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 12 consecutive years.
Publix has a few businesses initiatives out there:
Pix – 13 locations. Opened the first one in 2001.
Sabor – 4 locations (Kissimmee, Hialeah, 2 in Miami ) – opened the first one in 2005
Crispers – 38 locations
They also have 102 Publix Liquor stores, 5 cooking schools and… a lot going on with Publix GreenWise Market.
Publix GreenWise Market
They first began adding natural and organic products to their stores in 1996 and over the years, they have been adding new products by the hundreds across multiple categories.
Customers were looking for natural and organic products and Publix wanted to be able to offer them a high quality line of products and a good value. In late 2000, they introduced their private label brand – Publix GreenWise Market.
Paper goods were the first products launched (they are not whitened with chlorine and are made with post-consumer materials) and they have really grown their product line over the past 9 years.
Last year, natural and organic sales at Publix exceeded $1 billion.
GreenWise products are:
- Natural – minimally processed with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
- Organic – 100%, 95%, or 70% organic ingredients according to USDA regulations
- Earth-friendly – (Publix definition) – they don’t contain chemicals that adversely affect the environment, such as petroleum, phosphates and chlorine bleach.
More and more people today are paying close attention to what they eat. They’re looking for options that are more natural and less processed. They’re trying to avoid additives and chemicals, and seeking products raised in a way they can feel good about.
The GreenWise Market customer is someone who is
- Health conscious – customer believes in prevention. They use natural and organic products to avoid chemicals and pesticides. They purchase supplements and vitamins to prolong life and prevent disease.
- Environmentally conscious – customer believes in protecting the earth. They avoid chemicals and products that are grown with chemicals due to the harmful impact to the earth. They’re concerned about animal welfare – they’ll buy recycled products, products without phosphates, chlorine, products made with post-consumer waste, products not tested on animals, humane certified products
- Foodie – they are into trends. They experiment with many high-end gourmet products, they like to try exotic products – an estate-grown organic olive oil is an example of a product this customer might purchase.
- Or maybe a little bit of all these things
Publix GreenWise Market magazine – 500,000 copies/month – 250,000 in-home subscriptions, rest delivered to stores. The magazine can help you and your family make smart, natural choices on everything from food, nutrition and fitness to remedies and ideas for disease prevention.
Publix GreenWise Market magazine is free and there are four issues per year— January, April, July, and October.
“We don’t only go to where the customers are, we do things to bring them to us!”
Every month, Publix issues a “calendar of events” to bring customers into the stores. This is distributed to local neighborhoods, churches, at events and in the store, too.
Media & Community Relations Manager
P.O. Box 32024
Lakeland, FL 33802