Publix tied a New York-based grocery chain for the title of America’s favorite grocer, beating out other national supermarkets with stores in Palm Beach County, including Trader Joe’s, Aldi, and Whole Foods.
Market Force’s study surveyed more than 12,700 consumers, and scored their satisfaction in five grocery categories including the ability to find desired items, cleanliness and specialty department service.
If you want to read The National Enquirer while you’re waiting online at Publix, you’ll have to hunt for it behind a plastic cover shielding its front page from public view.
After receiving continued complaints about the tabloid, Publix said it decided to add the Enquirer to the list of publications that it covers in its stores. In a statement posted on the grocer’s website, Publix officials said the decision was in response to numerous complaints not “particular cover or any political views.”
“Recently, due to continual complaints, Publix added The National Enquirer to the list of titles we permanently cover in our stores, the statement read. “Please know that this decision was based solely on a long history of customer complaints regarding offensive and objectionable material, not in response to a particular cover or any political views.”
But the move has drawn fire from some customers, who say the decision to cover the publication came after the tabloid ran a story about President-Elect Donald Trump. Some took to Twitter to sound off about the move.
@Publix Is it true that Publix is covering magazines with Trump on cover? Shopped Publix for 50 years will have to switch stores if true.
Here is Publix’s full statement on the decision: “Recently, due to continual complaints, Publix added The National Enquirer to the list of titles we permanently cover in our stores. Please know that this decision was based solely on a long history of customer complaints regarding offensive and objectionable material, not in response to a particular cover or any political views.
Publix is a company that cares about its customers, and we work hard to create a pleasant shopping experience. It is our mission to do our very best to satisfy all Publix customers, but unfortunately in today’s complex world this is not always an easy task.
Occasionally, we receive customer concerns regarding certain materials that contain objectionable print or photographs. As a result, our stores have “blinders” which are used to conceal these types of covers. Some magazine titles have pushed the limits with pictures and occasional controversial, sexual and inflammatory words that result in significant customer concerns. When that occurs, we advise our stores to maintain a permanent cover over such publications. A blinder will continue to be placed over this magazine every week, regardless of cover content.”
The transition, announced on the company’s website, comes after the grocer was targeted by animal welfare groups, including The Humane Society of the United States. For several months, the humane society has led a social media push and advertising campaign targeting Publix’s cage-free egg policy.
“Because we take concerns about animal welfare seriously, we have been diligently working with our egg suppliers, industry leaders, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations to better understand the timing of converting our shell egg supply to completely cage-free, while meeting customer demand, remaining affordable, and maintaining animal health and safety,” Publix’s website said. “…We appreciate the trust our customers place in us to do the right thing and will continue to work to provide our customers with quality products and a variety of choices, while ensuring food safety and animal welfare. We are committed to moving forward with this challenging and complex effort and will work toward being 100 percent cage free by 2026.”
The humane society heralded the change on Friday, saying Publix marks the last major grocer in the country to announce a timeline for transitioning to cage-free eggs.
“We appreciate that Publix will stop selling eggs from caged chickens,” said Josh Balk, Senior Food Policy Director for The HSUS. “The future is now more certain than ever that the egg industry’s cage confinement of chickens must come to an end.”
Beginning next week, Publix customers in some Miami neighborhoods will be able to order groceries online and have them delivered to their doorstep.
Publix announced Wednesday that it has teamed up with the online grocery company Instacart to offer delivery service from Hallandale Beach to South Miami. Customers can enter their ZIP code on the Instacart website to find out if the service is available where they live.
“We know this service is something our customers are interested in, and we’re excited to learn more as we move forward with this pilot,” said Kevin Murphy, Publix Senior Vice President of Retail Operations. “We chose Instacart because we believe the experience they provide aligns well with the needs of our company, associates and customers.”
Publix has tested other online shopping and delivery services over the years.
In 2010, the grocer announced its short-lived Curbside service, which allowed customers in select areas to order groceries online and choose a pickup location and time. Employees walked the groceries to shoppers’ cars.
Publix abandoned anther online ordering and delivery service, called Publix Direct, in 2003.
Market Force said it was the first time in four years that Trader Joe’s did not win top honors. The grocer, known for its eclectic collection of branded products and budget prices, instead ranked third on the list.
Market Force’s study surveyed more than 10,000 consumers, and scored their satisfaction in five grocery categories including the ability to find desired items, cleanliness and specialty department service. Publix lead in all but one area — cashier courtesy. Trader Joe’s won in that category.