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Publix Supermarkets

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Publix Supermarkets
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Institution

Publix Supermarkets
At the age of 22, the founder of the Publix supermarket, George Jenkins was the manager of a Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Florida. Though this was quite an achievement at such a tender age, George was had a greater idea in mind. Jenkins quit his job and opened Publix Food Store in 1930 in Winter Haven. The name Publix was adopted from a struggling movie theater that was based in New York, that is, the Publix Theaters Corporation (Marshall, 2016). At the time, most theaters were closing up, and Jenkins liked the name.
In November 1940, Jenkins decided to close two smaller stores and opened the first Publix Supermarket. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Publix operated in decorated movie houses. Like the theaters, the supermarket was very luxurious; it had sparkling clean terrazzo floors, food laid out in refrigerated cases, electric doors and was air-conditioned. The retail shop set a new bar for American food stores. Currently, the company has over 1,100 retail outlets in six southern states and is rated as one of the top grocery stores chains. The high rank is based on Publix big clean stores and courteous employees.
In regards to the business model, Publix is an employees owned company; this means that the average staff member is given an opportunity to improve the corporation’s bottom line. If the firm does well, then the workers do well; this is made possible through the provision of regular dividends. Publix retains its customers through providing excellent services.

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The company has an annual compound growth of 18% (Manassa, 2013). A person that wants to invest in Publix has to work for the company; their salaries determine their rate of ownership. The method motivates the hardest workers in the company to attain a higher stake in the business as they work.
One of the aspects that make Publix different from its competitor is the company’s operating model. On average, Publix stores have the highest numbers of staff members when compared to the firm’s competitors. A higher number of employees makes it possible to give more attention and service to the customers. For example, at Publix, it is the staff members that find an item for the customer rather than providing information on where the customer can locate the product through indicating aisle number.
Other competitors such as Walmart have been vigorously encroaching in Publix’s footprint. Walmart’s chief selling point is low prices while Publix invests heavily in customer service and the quality of products sold to the customers. The perfect positioning between operating model and business model has contributed significantly to Publix’s success. In regards to revenue, Publix attained over $30 billion in revenue in the year 2014 and was ranked as the sixth largest grocer in the US. Also, Publix is among grocer companies with the highest profits (Natalie, 2015). In 2012, Publix attained a profit margin amounting to 5.6%, some of its close competitors were Whole Foods at 3.9%, Walmart at 3.8% and Kroger at 1.6%.
Publix has various unique selling points; a good example is the Publix Apron Cooking Schools that are present in every store where recipes can be recreated and sampled by the Publix instructors (Splawn, 2017). The Apron Cooking School also provides the customers with recipe cards with a wide variety of information such as how to cook with seasonal produce and dinner ideas. Children are also taught how to prepare easy-to-make and healthy dishes by the professional chefs at Publix Apron School. The program was developed and is funded by Aetna which is an Eat for Better Health Program that offers free cooking classes for kids aged between 8 and 12 years. The cooking school is a clear indicator that Publix is concerned about the health of their customers through making sure they eat healthy foods.
Publix allows their customers to shop either online or in their physical stores unlike the majority of online shopping platforms which do not have a physical presence. Shops that are entirely online-based may offer lower prices since the products are sourced directly from the manufacturer and delivered to the customers without involving intermediaries. However, some customers still prefer shopping in physical stores due to trust issues and the risk of identity theft when purchasing items using the internet.
One of the reasons that customers are willing to spend more through shopping at Publix instead of cheaper competitors is as a result of branding. Instead of imitating popular brands and urging customers to buy them, Publix designs products that people want. One of the branding aspects is achieved through packaging which is designed to represent the company. Majority of the packaging is in white color which helps the products stand out on the shelves. Publix has managed to create a trusted brand across the product category and the stores. For most shoppers, when shopping for an item with no preferred brand in mind, it is easier to buy the already established Publix brand instead of other untested brand names which might be cheaper.

References
Manassa, R. (2013). Publix vs. Walmart: Business Models Compared. Sarvodaya. Retrieved 20 January 2018, from https://romneymanassa.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/publix-vs-walmart-business-models-compared/Marshall, B. (2016). How Publix got its name: It will surprise you. mypalmbeachpost. Retrieved 20 January 2018, from http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/lifestyles/how-publix-got-its-name-will-surprise-you/kZfmBsEz4k9Uk8OCuxycxN/Natalie, G. (2015). Publix: Every Floridians’ Favorite Supermarket – Technology and Operations Management. Rctom.hbs.org. Retrieved 20 January 2018, from https://rctom.hbs.org/submission/publix-every-floridians-favorite-supermarket/Splawn, M. (2017). 10 Reasons Publix Is the Best Grocery Store Ever. Kitchn. Retrieved 22 January 2018, from https://www.thekitchn.com/10-reasons-publix-is-the-best-grocery-store-ever-242779

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