Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Publix Strategy Working in Jacksonville, despite Wal-Mart Shadow

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Publix Strategy Working in Jacksonville, despite Wal-Mart Shadow

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Brune Mathis, Times-Union senior business writer

Winn-Dixie Supermarkets Inc. has been losing market share in Northeast Florida's grocery industry while Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has been coming on strong with its Supercenters, which include full-line supermarkets.

While Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie fell to No. 2 five years ago as Wal-Mart muscled up the ranks to No. 3, the company with the highest market share of the area's grocery dollars is Publix Super Markets Inc.

It's not difficult to understand why. Publix, whose letterhead includes the motto "it's been our pleasure," focuses on customer service. In choosing locations, it thoroughly researches potential markets, including area household income levels and projections. It renovates its successful older stores to remain up to date. When it closes a store, it often builds a new one within several miles.

The strategy launched Publix to No. 1 in Jacksonville, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Miami, which are markets tracked by the Shelby Report of the Southeast.

At the end of 2004, the food industry publication said that the 37 Publix stores in Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties accounted for almost 32 percent of the area's grocery spending, compared with 26 percent for Winn-Dixie and 15 percent for Wal-Mart.

Publix took over the top spot in 2000 from Winn-Dixie, which filed for bankruptcy reorganization early this year.

And Publix doesn't look like it intends for much to stand in its way. It continues to expand, although it doesn't reveal details until leases are signed.

Lakeland-based Publix was founded 75 years ago. Its stock is sold to employees and board directors. Its 2004 sales grew to $18.6 billion, up 11 percent. Earnings rose 24 percent to almost $820 million. In comparison, Winn-Dixie reported sales of $10.6 billion for fiscal 2004.

Of Publix's 851 supermarkets, 625 are in Florida, 159 are in Georgia and the remainder are in South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

Of its 40 area stores, there are 27 in Duval County, eight in St. Johns, four in Clay and one in Nassau. More are on the way. There's speculation that Publix is sought as the anchor for a project in historic San Marco and for a shopping center next to the recently opened St. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.