Publix Builds to Suit
By George Anderson
Publix has thrown out the cookie cutter and is increasingly looking to tailor its store formats and product offerings to meet the needs of consumers.
The South Florida employee-owned chain has continually reinvented itself with new store formats, including free-standing liquor stores, its Latino targeted Sabor format and its upcoming introduction of two Greenwise banner natural food units. The grocer has added organics to its traditional supermarkets, along with items such as designer perfumes and jewelry, in response to market opportunities.
This willingness to adapt has enabled Publix to maintain a 57 percent share of the South Florida grocery market even as Wal-Mart continues to grow at the expense of others, such as Winn-Dixie.
Jim Hertel, senior vice president of Willard Bishop Consulting, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “Food retailing is basically a local phenomenon. The fact that Publix stayed close to their region and stayed close to their shoppers has proved tremendously successful.”
“We never do anything without asking ourselves, ‘How does this benefit the customer?'” said Anne Hendricks, a spokesperson for Publix. “That’s what we concentrate on — keeping our customers happy.”
Moderator’s Comment: What most impresses you about Publix? The chain is known for catering to the needs of local customers but are there other aspects
of the business where it excels (logistics, information technology, advertising, etc.) that are often overlooked when discussing its business? –
George Anderson – Moderator