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Principles of Marketing

Closing Company Case

Principles of MarketingClosing Company Case


Founded in 1930, supermarket chain Publix started with one store in Winter Haven, Florida. It now has over 1,200 stores throughout the Southeast. The company was founded on the promise of superior customer service. With unwavering dedication to quality and value, Publix is now one of the 10 largest-volume supermarket chains in the country.

Publix is employee-owned, and the pride and dedication of its employees shows in the daily interactions with customers and the communities it serves. Walk into any Publix grocery store, and the spacious aisles and displays provide for ease and access. The brightly lit shelves and soft music make for a pleasant shopping experience. With a wide selection of quality products and its own Publix brand, customers are typically delighted with the availability of premium and well-priced items.

A hallmark of the Publix shopping experience is the checkout. Its friendly Publix cashiers and abundance of grocery baggers make shopping a pleasure. No matter how big or small an order might be, the baggers are always eager to help customers out to the car with their groceries.

As the company worked to develop the superior in-store shopping experience, consumer preferences for grocery shopping began to change. Amazon, a leader in online shopping, bought Whole Foods. Adding to its already “everything store” approach, Amazon was now able to deliver groceries within a two-hour window.

In 2016, Publix began a pilot with Instacart. Instacart is an online ordering and delivery platform, partnering primarily with grocery and drugstore chains nationwide. Publix had plans in place to launch Instacart with all Publix locations by 2020.

When COVID-19 began raging throughout the United States and economies were shuttered, demand for grocery delivery was high. Publix and Instacart rallied to meet the need. Each Publix location was tasked with getting its merchandise uploaded on its website, and Instacart was quickly hiring employees to shop for and deliver groceries to homes across its market area.

Using a mobile app, Publix consumers continue to use Instacart to shop for grocery delivery. Through the robust Publix website, consumers are able to place orders for party trays, bakery items, and whole-meal catering solutions. Publix regularly posts updates on food recalls and highlights of its sustainability efforts. Consumers who opt in can join the Publix Club to receive emails with coupons and weekly discounts on groceries.

Publix has an active social media presence. With over 3 million Facebook followers, loyal consumers often comment on their good finds, grocery deals, and favorite products. Publix provides its followers with favorite recipes and new products.

Through Instagram, Publix shares photos of some of its food products as well as ways it supports its communities and helps with environmental sustainability issues. Customers regularly like and comment on the Instagram posts featuring Publix food items and holiday meal ideas.43

To learn more about these companies, visit the Publix website and the Instacart website.

Case Questions

1 .
Describe the ways Publix is utilizing its website to connect with customers.
2 .
In what ways can consumers engage with Publix through digital media?
3 .
What are some of the methods Publix can utilize to determine success with its digital efforts?
4 .
How did Publix use digital resources to respond to consumer needs during the COVID-19 pandemic?
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