What Is Publix? An Employee-Owned Explainer

If you talk to people who are really into grocery stores, a few names keep coming up over and over again—and if you’re talking to a Southern grocery store enthusiast, you’ll certainly hear about Publix. 

What is Publix? 

Publix is the largest employee-owned grocery store chain in the U.S. Wow, that sounds great, but what does that mean? Who owns Publix? Publix Super Markets, Inc is a private company, based in Florida, that was founded by George W. Jenkins in 1930 and is entirely owned by past and present employees and the Jenkins family. So, if you’re in a Publix and you get into it with one of the employees, you can be like, “I want to talk to the owner!” and they can be like, “That’s me, buddy!” 

Publix stock is offered for purchase as a benefit to employees and is not publicly traded on any stock exchange. Publix is one of the ten largest volume supermarket chains in the United States and had retail sales of $48 million in 2021. So, even though it’s not a nationwide chain, it still does comparable business to more well known national players. 

How many Publix stores are there? 

There are around 1,325 Publix stores across the U.S. If you read this sometime way into the future and know for sure that a new Publix store has been built, feel free to tweet someone about it or just move on with your life. Publix operates a cooking school called Aprons in some stores, offering demonstrations and cooking classes. Publix also maintains ten distribution centers and ten manufacturing centers across the South, where they make and ship products like their store brand items. In addition to those signature items, Publix groupies love their sandwiches and their fried chicken. 

What states have Publix? 

The lucky ones. Those are Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Publix was founded in Winter Haven, Florida and is now headquartered in Lakeland, Florida. Florida is also home to more Publix stores than any other state by far. Publix maintains its popularity in these states with a big focus on customer service. Publix is not one of those grocery stores where you will walk around lost forever looking for someone to help you. Plus, the “Publix guarantee” of your satisfaction or your money back as well as their frequent “buy one get one” sales go a long way to creating a happy customer base. I’m for sure taking my next vacation to Florida just so that I can see Publix and nothing else!

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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