Are you also curious to know about the success of Publix? Want to know why is it so successful?

Then you have landed on the right page as today I have decided to talk about the success reasons of Publix with you. Being an ex-employee of Publix, I know a lot of details about the company and their success mantra.

Publix is among the top 5 supermarkets chains in the United states which currently operates in 1,271 locations. They gross around 50 Billion dollars of sales each year. All the 1,271 retail stores are only located in the seven states of south east; and Florida being the home for Publix from where they generate around 66.66% of their total revenue.

It is going to be a fun read for all of you;

A image showing a text why publix is successful with a background of Publix store.

Reasons for Success of Publix

There are various factors that have contributed in the success of Publix supermarkets and I am going to list some of the main reasons for that.

George W. Jenkins

This is a smiling photo of George Jenkins who is founder of Publix.

George W. Jenkins is the man behind Publix who devoted all his life to retail. When he was a kid, he helped his father in his general store. Right after high school, he moved down to Florida and started working in a popular chain of grocery store, Piggly Wiggly as stock clerk; at that time he was only seventeen. After working for few months there, he was transferred to the biggest store of Piggly Wiggle in Winter Haven and managed that store for 5 years.

After that, he was feeling bit disrespected by the owners of Piggly Wiggly as they were reluctant about some of the Ideas of George. And he took out a loan of $200,000 and started his own small grocery store right in front of Piggly Wiggly which was called Publix Food stores. A bit bold move, but wait there are more such moves ahead.

For the first years of Publix, sales were averaging around $100,000 per year which were keeping him fairly profitable. He opened another store at other part of the town.

In 1940, he sold both of the original stores and mortgaged an orange grove that he had bought earlier, and used all the money to open an 11,000 square feet super market which was around 5 times bigger that either one of the store. At that time, supermarkets were a new trend and George tried to keep up to the trend.

After 5 years of supermarket launch, he was having trouble in expanding his business; this is when he decided to buy 19 chain of existing grocery stores near Lakeland. He then decided to move their head quarters to there and converted those stores into larger Publix supermarkets. All of his bold moves, contributed hugely in the success of Publix. He leaded the company till 1990 and forced to retire due to stroke. By then, Publix had already grown into 370 stores in Florida that had sales of $5 billion a year.

Population Growth of Florida

Population Growth of Florida
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Population Estimates

When George opened the first store of Publix, the population of Florida was less than 1.5 million people and by the time he retired the number of population reached to 13 million. Today, it is above 20 million which contributed in the success of Publix being the biggest market size.

Great Customer Experience and Loyalty

Publix is considered as the pioneer of smooth and hassle-free grocery shopping. With its first store, their slogan was “Florida’s finest store” which was true for its time. The slogan later changed to “Where shopping is a pleasure.

They focused on providing the best experience to its users with utmost cleanliness. Due to its cleanliness, people prefer Publix over others.

Employee Satisfaction – Motivated Workforce

Having a motivated work-force is one of the primary reasons of Publix’s success. Being an ex employee myself and having a partner who currently works there, we can surely say that Publix is one of the best companies to work for.

Publix is known for promoting its loyal customers to higher positions, Todd Jones (current CEO of the company) is one example of that where he joined as a front-service clerk and after 30+ years of service is now a CEO. That is one of the main reasons that company’s work-force remain motivated. George believed in entertaining ideas from employees as he was not listened by his bosses at Piggly Wiggly.

Another reason for such a motivated staff is having equity in the company. According to Forbes, Jenkins’ family owns around 20% of the company and other 80% is owned by the employees. In 1950s, they started selling shares to the employees so that they can have a sense of belonging.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
Credits: Investopedia

In 1970, they started an official Employee Stock ownership plan where you get automatically enrolled to the plan given you’ve worked for the company for 1,000 hours within a full year. This whole plan of making employees owner works pretty well for the company and has played a major role in its success.


Publix has always been a pioneer in using the technology in retail industry. In 1970s, they started using price scanners at large scale in order to increase the efficiency and accuracy of billing. By 1980, they were the first supermarket company to install barcode scanners into every store which enhanced their efficiency. They also started installing ATMs in their stores when ATMs were not even present on most of the banks.

They also installed automatic checkout gates which allowed customers to scan their own grocery thus increasing the overall efficiency of the process.

For employees, they also started a Publix PassPort and Publix Oasis login portals for managing the data of their employees as well.

Final Verdict

So these were some of the primary reason of Publix’s success according to me and Mike. We think these are the reasons behind the success of our very own Publix. A story of Publix inspires all of us to take risks and start. If you liked our article don’t forget to share it with others.

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