Every Customer Treated the Same Mindset Helps Extend Brand Loyalty at Publix Over Generations

Publix is an employee-ownedAmerican supermarket chain based in Lakeland, FL, and operates throughout the Southeast with locations in FloridaGeorgiaAlabamaSouth CarolinaTennessee, and North Carolina.

Maria Brous, Director of Media & Community Relations at Publix Super Markets, told Loyalty360 that Publix doesn’t have a loyalty program per se. But the 87-year-old company has many devoted and loyal customers.

“We believe every customer is entitled to the same superior service and savings at Publix,” Brous explained. “Customers continue to evolve and their shopping habits have as well. We are catering to more than five generations of shoppers now; each with their own unique perspective. Customers continue to explore their taste palates, and are looking for convenience, flavor, and variety. Technology plays a large role for our customers, especially in the convenience arena.”

A key fact about Publix is its employee loyalty: The average tenure of a store manager at Publix is nearly 26 years.

“There is a lot of longevity in our company,” Brous said. “We get customer service and understand what that customer means to us. That is truly unique to us and it’s something we embrace and share with our associates during the onboarding process. Associates usually know within 90 days if they will make a career out of Publix. We’re truly unique because we’re all about the servant’s mentality. We have to have that servant’s mentality and passion to serve. The way we treat our customers and the way we value their relationships are so important to us. It really is about treating customers like royalty. Treat the customers like kings and queens. While it sounds a little bit hokey, that’s why we haven’t had to change course.”

Brous talked about solutions that Publix offers such as Publix Delivery Powered by Instacart (home delivery); Publix Curbside Service (“We shop for the customer and they pull up to finish their transaction and load their car,” Brous said); Publix Online Easy Ordering (OEO)–deli meats, cheeses, and platters available to order online, as well as bakery items.

“In addition, we offer digital coupons, online shopping lists, and item catalogs,” Brous said. “From another perspective, we meet our customers where they are and that includes online as well. Our online presence is an extension of the in-store experience. We engage with our customers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Restaurants and grocery retailers alike are all competing for the same share of stomach. There are more competitors in today’s landscape; however, we remain true to our core principles of providing premier service to our customers, high-quality products at competitive prices. I am most proud to own a piece of and work for a company which places a strong importance on the people–both associates and customers. As associate owners, we are invested in ensuring the success of our company. In every business decision we make, we explore the potential impact to associates and customers. We are committed to the people part of our business first.”     

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