Forbes Magazine in August covered Publix and how their Conscious Culture and employee ownership is helping them win the grocer war in Florida. Publix’s president, Todd Jones, who started out as a bagger 33 years ago stated, “We believe that there are three ways to differentiate: service, quality and price… You’ve got to be good at two of them, and the best at one. We make service our number one, then quality and then price.”
According to the article Publix is likely the most profitable grocery chain in the nation over Wal-Mart, Kroger and even Whole Foods and is also the largest employee-owned company in America.
Here’s the story by Brian Solomon: The Wal-Mart Slayer: How Publix’s People-First Culture Is Winning The Grocer War
For anyone that might bring up the refusal of Publix to join the Fair Food Program to support the Coalition of Immokalee Workers as a sign that Publix is not a conscious business, I will simply say that Conscious Capitalism like our own personal consciousness is something that develops and evolves over time.
The 11 partners stem from the food service industry and fast food restaurants, such as Whole Foods Market, McDonald’s, Burger King and Trader Joe’s. The coalition hopes that if it can get Publix, a Florida-based company, on board, then other grocers such as Walmart will follow.
I believe that at some point Publix and the CIW will come to a mutual agreement before Wal-Mart signs on and uses it against them in their already aggressive advertising that directly targets Publix.