Publix gets more personal with its new, free club membership

Discussion
Photo: Publix
Mar 13, 2020
George Anderson

Publix’s customers love shopping there for a variety of reasons — excellent customer service, BOGO deals, sub sandwiches, et al. While they may not know it, perhaps the biggest reason for them to feel this way is the grocer’s continuing commitment to improvement. Enter Club Publix.

On Wednesday, Publix unveiled its new, free membership program that the employee-owned grocer said will deliver a more personalized shopping experience to the throngs of loyal customers who regularly shop at the chain’s stores and online. It includes a number of digital features, such as early notification of BOGO offers and other sales deals, the ability to pay with a scan of the Publix app and the option of receiving e-receipts. Publix said the program offers exclusive club member perks and personalized content, as well.

“We’re always looking for ways to create a more convenient and rewarding shopping experience for our customers that delivers more of what matters to them,” Mark Irby, vice president of marketing for Publix, said in a statement. “Customers who join the free program will enjoy a more seamless shopping experience, one that’s more personalized to their individual needs and preferences.”

Customers with publix.com accounts will be automatically enrolled in Club Publix. Others can join by downloading the chain’s app, visiting publix.com/clubpublix or sending a text with the word JOIN to 782549.

Publix, which operates 1,243 stores along the Eastern seaboard from Florida to Virginia, reported earlier this month that it achieved a 5.1 percent increase in total sales for the three months ending Dec. 28. Same-store sales were up 3.6 percent during the same period. Net earnings for the quarter were up 26.2 percent.

“I’m proud of our Publix associates for continuing to make us a leader in our industry and providing legendary customer service,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones in a statement connected to the financial results.

Last month, Publix was named to Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. It marks the twenty-third consecutive year the Lakeland, FL-based business has earned the designation. Publix is one of only eight companies to make the list since Fortune began the program in 1998.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think are the reasons for the success Publix has enjoyed for so long? How will Club Publix be received and used by the supermarket chain’s customers?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Club Publix will add to the brand, much like Whole Foods’ Amazon Prime has done. It is relatively friction-less and rewarding. Another smart move by Publix."
"I’m not sure that Club Publix is needed, given the fact that shopping there is already delightful."
"Publix has a great culture and great stores that have brought them a lot of success; Club Publix should enable them to take it to the next level."

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10 Comments on "Publix gets more personal with its new, free club membership"


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Kathleen Fischer
BrainTrust

Publix has built a strong, loyal customer base and continues to expand and enhance the shopping experience for its customers. Club Publix looks to be the next offering and as long as customers see value in the program they will continue to reward the brand.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

I’m not sure that Club Publix is needed, given the fact that shopping there is already delightful. I’d love to see an examination of its onboarding and training process; employees seem genuinely committed to delivering the best service in the industry.

Suresh Chaganti
BrainTrust
Suresh Chaganti
Co-Founder and Executive Partner, VectorScient
2 months 16 days ago

For loyalty programs to work, the value should be real. It should be rewarding to be a member. I have not personally experienced Publix but, where I live, Meijers’ Mperks is pretty good and it sounds like Publix experience is quite similar. Decent cashback, personalized discounts on things I buy (based on my purchase history), e-receipts and in-app checkout. And of course great pricing and selection for everyone. It’s a joy when rewards are real, and experience is friction-less.

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Publix is a friendly store to shop. They cater to their customers’ needs regardless of age. They provide cookies for the little ones, help old folks out to their cars and load their bags every time. It’s like shopping used to be. They also have quality product, a large organic selection, a wide selection of ethnic foods, premium deli meats and prepared foods. Club Publix will add to the brand, much like Whole Foods’ Amazon Prime has done. It is relatively friction-less and rewarding. Another smart move by Publix.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

If the customer can see the value – electronic coupons, targeted offers, quicker checkout, etc., then it will be successful. You don’t want an app that sits on the phone and never gets used.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

Location dominance. For instance, I believe Publix has over 160 stores in just two counties in South Florida. They’ve done a superb job selecting key locations and pushing competitors out of their regions and maintained a high standard experience in the store focusing on grocery basics like cleanliness. The club Publix effort will be expected to perform as most loyalty programs do – and given that they have almost monopolies in certain areas of the country, they will have a captive audience to jump on board. Smart move to lock in customers even further. Consumers will most likely enjoy the benefits, coupons and early notifications tied to the effort. It will be great for data gathering and expansion outside of their home region.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Publix knows that the most important thing a retailer can do is see their business through the eyes of the customer and the second most important thing to do is to not rest in the false comfort of past success. The idea of continuous improvement drives loyalty, so I assume Club Publix will be a success.

Stephen Rector
BrainTrust

Publix has always put the customer first and the quality of their produce and prepared foods is much better than their local competition. Club Publix will continue to add to their dominance in the Southeast.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

What is Publix known for? Great service, clean and well-merchandised stores, and friendly employees. And you can’t leave out how well they treat their employees, which leads to great service and more engaged employees. Club Publix will provide data to help Publix deliver a better CX. The more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them.

Sterling Hawkins
BrainTrust

Publix has a great culture and great stores that have brought them a lot of success; Club Publix should enable them to take it to the next level. Customer data is an imperative these days to understand more detail around what’s actually happening with customers. If they use it effectively, it should not only be received well, but it should drive even better engagement and better results.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Club Publix will add to the brand, much like Whole Foods’ Amazon Prime has done. It is relatively friction-less and rewarding. Another smart move by Publix."
"I’m not sure that Club Publix is needed, given the fact that shopping there is already delightful."
"Publix has a great culture and great stores that have brought them a lot of success; Club Publix should enable them to take it to the next level."

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