You might be curious about the grocery chain you’ve seen all over Florida and some parts of the south with its bright green font. Publix, with over 1,000 locations, where shopping is a pleasure since 1930.
If you’re an entrepreneur eyeing to franchise a grocery chain, you might be wondering, can you franchise a Publix Supermarket? Unfortunately, you can’t franchise Publix. This is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States and is privately owned so you can’t buy stocks on a public exchange either.
But don’t stop reading just yet. We have here all the facts you need to know about Publix, how you can still do business with them, and what other options you have if you want to franchise a supermarket. If you want to be matched with an opportunity that is working with franchisees, take our 7-minute franchise quiz.
Financial Requirements and Fees
Since Publix isn’t available to franchise, there’s no way to determine how much the expenses are in putting up one near you. However, an estimate to open a grocery store would be more than $2 million when you consider all the costs including purchasing equipment, point-of-sale systems, inventory, rent, insurance, advertising, licensing, real estate and other expenses.
Average Sales / Revenue per Year
According to Publix, the company generated $54.5 billion in revenue for 2022 which is a 13.6% increase from their revenue in 2021 which was $48 billion. Publix continues to show they are able to grow even in challenging or stagnant economic environments. People will always need the necessities of food even during tough financial times.
Publix Supermarket Franchise Facts
|Does Not Allow Franchising
|Retail / Grocery
|Food and Beverage
George Jenkins opened Publix in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida. Known as Mr. George, Jenkins previously worked at Piggly Wiggly, another chain of grocery stores in the United States before he resigned to run his own grocery. After opening the first location, Jenkins proceeded to purchase small retail stores and converted them into grocery stores. The name Publix came from a chain of movie theaters that were going out of business and Jenkins liked the name so much that he decided to use it.
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Publix’s success at that time might be due to the designs that Jenkins applied to his stores. Jenkins added air conditioning, terrazzo floors, and fluorescent lighting. Jenkins also added merchandise with good quality as well as a friendly customer service.
Fast forward to now, Publix remains to be a strong grocery business with over 1,333 stores located in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Florida has the most Publix locations with over 800 stores.
Produce section of a grocery store.
Groceries are the main items that Publix offers but they also have a variety of services available under one roof. They have a pharmacy located inside the grocery where you can get prescription drugs. They sell flowers and greeting cards in one section. They also have a bakery where you can get freshly baked goods such as cakes for occasions. You can grab subs, wings, and sushi at Publix as well.
As mentioned earlier, Publix is not available for franchising. The Jenkins family owns 20% of the shares while 80% of it is owned by the employees.
But if you’re interested in doing business with them, you can become a Retail Product Supplier. This means that if you have any item (dry grocery, frozen food, meats, etc.) you wish to sell at Publix, you can register to have Publix evaluate the product. You can also sign up to be a Facilities Purchasing Supplier, Industrial Equipment Supplier, Ingredient/Supply Product Supplier, Publix Branded Product Supplier, Facilities Services Supplier, and Technology Product or Service Supplier.
Another way of doing business with Publix is to sell them or lease them a land that you own. To pitch in your proposal, check out their property requirements here. Here are some of the basic requirements of a Publix supermarket location:
- Property location: Publix prefers to locate its stores in high-traffic areas with good visibility. The property should also be accessible by car, public transportation, and walkable.
- Property size: Publix stores typically range in size from 40,000 to 60,000 square feet. The property should be large enough to accommodate the store’s layout and parking lot.
- Property zoning: The property must be zoned for retail use. If a property is zoned for residential use, the local government won’t all you to operate a business from the location.
- Property access: The property must have good access to utilities, such as water, sewer, and power.
- Property condition: The property must be in good condition and free of any major defects. Publix looks for safe neighborhoods and communities to open their stores.
The current Chief Executive Officer or CEO of Publix is Todd Jones. Publix’s headquarters is located in Lakeland, Florida.
How Much Does Publix Supermarket Make in Profit?
According to a report on Publix’s website, their net earnings for December 21, 2022 were $2.9 billion. This is a decrease of 33.9% since their 2021 net earnings were $4.4 billion. Inflation has negatively impacted the profitability of Publix the past 2 years. The company has had to raise prices on some of its products in order to offset these costs. This challenge has been faced by all grocery stores as commodity and transportation prices increased.
Advantages of a Publix Supermarket Franchise
Publix is a strong brand which means there are many advantages. Here are some of the strengths of this supermarket chain.
Publix has been around for over 90 years serving many with quality merchandise and customer service. They may not be accessible throughout all the states but a huge number of the population knows them because of how long they’ve been operating, how massive their stores are, and that they dominate most supermarkets around the south. Publix is a strong brand because of its focus on customer service, its commitment to quality, and its employee ownership.
The first Publix deli opened in Tallahassee, Florida.
As mentioned above, Publix isn’t just a supermarket. You can get your medicine, bakery items, and food platters all under one roof. Do you also need flowers and greeting cards? They carry those items as well. Do you need a special custom birthday cake? Publix Bakery can do that for you. The services that they offer are all so convenient and in just one location which makes Publix the go to supermarket for so many shoppers.
Those who are employed at Publix are entitled to stock payouts which make the company an ideal place to work. That’s also why they’re in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. Not only do customers receive their monthly pay and benefits but the stocks that they own help them out too.
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Employees are able to acquire shares in Publix through the Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP). Publix offers eligible associates the opportunity to purchase shares of its stock at a discounted price of 15%. As an aside, Publix also offers generous tuition reimbursement for eligible associates. The company will reimburse associates for up to $5,250 per year for tuition and fees.
Challenges of a Publix Supermarket Franchise
There are some challenged you might face when you do decide to do business with Publix. Some of them are tackled below:
Not Available in All States
Publix is only available in limited areas in the United States, mostly the South. But can you imagine if they would be available all over America? Unfortunately, one challenge of expanding beyond the South is that most consumers in the West or Midwest have never heard of Publix. The company would need to invest in marketing and promotions to get the word out about their grocery shopping experience.
Publix has had issues with discrimination against LGBT+ workers. Such discrimination allegations can still paint Publix in a bad light and hurt the bottom line if certain communities decide to boycott the store.
Is the Publix Supermarket Franchise Right For You?
It’s too bad that Publix isn’t available to franchise. If they did, it would be an ideal supermarket franchise for many. It has everything under one roof and also gives back to their employees.
In the meantime, if you still want to do business with Publix then check out their other options such as becoming a supplier or sell a land that you own to them. You could also become a Publix employee so you can get a share of their stock.
A grocery store owner can earn $60,000 to $300,000 or maybe even more depending on the location and size of the business. So if you still want to push through with franchising a grocery store, know that these are the estimates and your income will fluctuate depending on operations, locations, and marketing.
What is an alternative Publix Supermarket franchise?
I suggest looking at convenience stores to franchise. Most convenience stores carry a lot of services from basic merchandise to grocery needs, and even fuel. One convenience store that’s stood the test of time is Arco AM/PM Station. The chain has more than 1,200 locations and has been around since 1978.
The investment to franchise an Arco AM/PM Station is between $440,291 to $10,405,152. The franchise fee is $40,000 to $70,000. Check out our Arco AM/PM Station franchise guide here.
Publix continues to dominate the grocery scene in the South. They’re a credible company to do business with as well. But unfortunately, they are not franchising at this time. If this ever changes, I’ll let you know about it here.