Publix revolutionized supermarkets in the 1940’s

Last Updated on October 22, 2018

In 1930, George Jenkins opened his first grocery store, called Publix Food Store, in Winter Haven, a little town located smack dab in the middle of Florida. It was a 27 ft by 65 ft building at 199 West Central Avenue. Despite the Great Depression, that store made $120,000 in sales in 1934. In 1935, he opened a second market, the Economy Food Store, also in Winter Haven.

Publix 1,222 U.S. Store Locations

Publix Store Map

Publix Store Map

Time for innovation

In 1940, Jenkins closed his first two stores and opened the first Publix Super Market. His vision had come to life: built of marble, glass and stucco, his new store included revolutionary comforts such as piped-in music, air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, doughnut shop, flower shop, cold cases for frozen and refrigerated foods, electric eye doors and terrazzo floors.

Moving on up

In 1945, at the end of WWWII, Jenkins acquired a warehouse and 19 All American stores from the Lakeland Grocery Company. He quickly began turning all of these small stores in large, clean and friendly Publix supermarkets.ublix reached $50 million in sales, and $1 million in profit.

The year 1951 was a busy one for Jenkins, as he moved the Publix headquarters fromWinter Haven to Lakeland, Florida. That same year he built the first Publix distribution warehouse there. In 1956, P

About Publix success

As of August 2018, Publix employees numbered about 193,000 at its 1,231 retail locations, which included cooking schools, corporate offices, nine grocery distribution centres and 11 manufacturing facilities. 

Cream of the crop!

The Publix Mission is to be the premier quality food retailer in the worldby being:
• passionately focused on customer value,
• intolerant of waste,
• dedicated to the dignityvalue and employment security of our associates,
• devoted to the highest standards of stewardship for our stockholders, and
• involved as responsible citizens in our communities.

Publix is employee-owned

  • At Pubix, every employee is a shareholder and every employee is trained to put their customers first.
  • Publix operates 11 cooking schools under the name, Aprons.
  • GreenWise Markets were introduced to increase awareness of nutrition and to help increase the number and profitability of health food stores. Their focuses is on organic and natural items.
  • Publix Sabor stores (sabor is Spanish for “flavor”), cater to Hispanic Americans living in Florida.
  • Presto! is a network of over 1,100 ATM’s owned and operated by Publix Super Markets.

Publix is ranked…

  • No. 47 on Fortune magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For 2018.
  • No. 7 on Forbes‘ 2017 list of America’s Largest Private Companies and is the largest in Florida.
  • No.1 on Fortune’s 2018 list of World’s Most Admired Companies in the Food & Drug Stores sector.
  • No. 88 on Fortune magazine’s Fortune 500 list of U.S. companies for 2017.

Taking stock

Publix stock can only be purchased by current employees or board members, and cannot be sold to anyone without first being offered back to Publix for repurchase. As of August 1, 2018, Publix stock was valued at $42.55 per share. Publix stock is listed on the 2016 Fortune 500 list at #87.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

Leave a Reply