Meet the Employee-Owned Chain Called Walmart's Biggest Nightmare
Publix became the nation's most profitable grocer by doing the opposite of what Walmart does.

Publix, the fastest-growing grocery chain in America, isn’t a corporate giant that exploits workers, but an employee-owned company that’s more profitable than any of its competitors.

Unlike Walmart’s hourly workers, who just got a raise to $9 and $10 an hour, Publix workers get a piece of the company after putting in 1,000 hours and working for the company for over a year. Each employee-owner takes home an additional 8.5 percent of their take-home pay every year in stock options. According to Forbes, 58,000 of the company’s 159,000 workers are on track to become owners, and the company makes sure each potential owner gets a broad sense of the business by rotating them through its grocery sector, distribution network, and real estate division.

This year, Publix was ranked as one of FORTUNE’s top 100 companies to work based on an anonymous employee survey, which asks questions based on pay and benefits, working conditions, communication with management, and diversity. Publix is only one of 12 companies to be consistently listed by employees as a top place to work every year since the list’s inception in 1998. But Publix isn’t dominant in just the grocery industry — its pharmacies are also consistently outperforming top pharmacies. A 2013 Marketforce survey of customers at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Publix rated Publix as providing the most satisfying customer experience.

That high rating by customers is the driving force behind Publix’s success. CEO Todd Jones — who was a Publix bagger in the late 1960s — told Forbes the company’s success depends on keeping customers happy. In 2007, Publix ranked first in the same American Consumer Satisfaction Index that ranked Walmart last.

“We believe that there are three ways to differentiate: service, quality and price,” Jones said. “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.”

To take supply-side economists at their word, a company that puts so much time and money into customer service, and shares profits so recklessly with so many workers, would mean they’re going broke, right?

In comparison to the biggest grocery store chains, Publix is the most profitable, posting $27.5 billion in 2012 revenue, and profit margins of 5.6 percent that same year. When compared to Walmart’s 3.8 percent margins, along with Kroger, which only made margins of 1.6 percent, Publix is eating its competition for lunch. Even though Walmart pulls 16 times more in annual revenue, the employee-owned chain still has over $100 million more in cash and investments on its balance sheet ($6.8 billion) than Walmart ($6.7 billion).

And despite the company’s altruistic actions toward workers and customers, it still manages to provide lower prices than Walmart. This 2012 chart shows prices of essential items at Publix and Walmart, and shows how much Publix shoppers save by not spending their money at Walmart:

Whether or not Publix will become the premiere grocery chain in America remains to be seen. But what the company has proven beyond all doubt is that conventional wisdom degrading employee ownership of a company as bad for business is just a myth.

20 Pet Peeves of Cashiers

1. When a customer jokes they “just made” a $50/$100 bill

2. “Wasn’t that item on sale?”

3. Baskets left on or around the register

4. Expert hand maneuvers to avoid being handed a receipt

5. Receipts left on or around the register

6. Groceries left behind

7. Customer tells you the item price when all you want is the UPC

8. Fifty phone calls a day asking what time you close

9. A customer coming in with a WIC check a minute til you close

10. No response when you ask someone if they found everything okay or to have a nice day

11. Register drawer being just a penny off balance

12. Shoplifters

13. Customers dumping items in random places when they decide they don’t want it anymore

14. Customer saying they don’t need a bag AFTER you already bagged their item

15. Not being able to do clean up because every time you walk away from the register someone else walks up

16. Customer spends ten minutes trying to pick out candy while a line builds up

17. Random rushes when everyone in the store decides to check out at once

18. Running out of change in the middle of a rush

19. Customer paying in change

20. “Oh I forgot to grab something, I’ll be right back.”

Reblog if you are/know a cashier who can relate to one or more of these things.
It’s all part of the job, so if you’re a customer, give a friendly smile the next time you see a cashier so they know that the pains they go through to help people like you and me out is appreciated. xxxx

queennorthway asked:

Room mates at the grocery store!

Hey! Thanks for the ask! I had a lot of fun writing this! xD Something different. Is this kind of like a birthday gift to Nico? Happy Birthday, Nico!

So anyways, here’s Roommates at a Grocery Store!

How Can You Ask Me Out? I’m Not Even There!

“Why do you need more olives? We’ve got an entire jar sitting in the refrigerator!”

Will was currently at the local supermarket, getting groceries for his roommate, Nico, who was apparently ‘very busy’ with ‘important work’. So he’d stuffed a mile long list in Will’s hand and forced him into his car to go shopping. Will didn’t like doing groceries. There was a reason for Nico to be the ‘grocery person’ in the two of them. So in a fit on irrational rebellion, Will called an unamused Nico the moment he reached the store for no particular reason. (At least he’d have a guide there. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been to the store.)

Will could almost see Nico rolling his eyes. “Because William,” he said, his voice scratchy on the phone, “Our friends are coming over this weekend and we need more olives.”

Will shrugged and proceeded to place the jar in the cart. He straightened out the list in his hand and read, “2 kilos of tomatoes. Jeez Nico. These are our friends, not a pack of hungry wolves.”

“Just get the tomatoes, you idiot,” Nico grumbled, “They’re on the right side of the shop.”

With an exaggerated sigh, Will pushed the cart over to the fruits and vegetables. “I don’t know how I’m going to get this back to the apartment.”

Nico snorted over the phone. “You’ll survive.”

“You’re pretending to be busy, aren’t you?” Will asked as he ripped out a plastic bag, “You just didn’t want to carry all of this unnecessary food.”

“That’s it. You’re not getting food tonight.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll order Chinese from down the street.” Will smiled at the woman across him as he tugged the plastic bag open. Wow, she was pretty.

“Then you’ll die of food poisoning. Just get the groceries, Will.”

Will rolled his eyes and started dumping the fruit in the bag.

“That’s a lot of tomatoes.”

Will looked up to see the pretty lady looking at his hands in amusement. He smiled and shrugged. “I’ve got a demanding roommate.”

She laughed and shook her head. “I can relate. There’s only a couple of times I can clean my mess up every day.”

Will chuckled. “At least mine gives me food.”

“Hah. You’re lucky. Some people have to cook for themselves,” she extended a hand forward, “I’m Karen, by the way.”

Will shook her hand, smiling. “Will.”

He could hear Nico talking on the other line, his voice rising with each sentence. Rolling his eyes, he pointed at his phone and mouthed ‘sorry’ to Karen.

“Yes, Nico?”

“Who were you talking to?” Nico demanded.

Manoeuvring his cart a little away from Karen, he whispered into the phone, “Met a girl at the supermarket. Her name’s Karen.”

“Oh.” Nico’s tone suddenly turned bitter. “Having fun?”

Will snorted. “Don’t worry, di Angelo. The tomatoes are getting their love.”

Nico huffed in annoyance. “Whatever. Just get the stuff quickly. I’m bored.”

Will raised an eyebrow and bit back a laugh. “Are you jealous, Nico?”

“Hah. You wish.”

“I actually do wish,” Will smirked into the phone, wishing he could see Nico’s expression, “So tell me. Should I ask for her number or are you going to treat me with a little extra love tonight?”

“You are so full of yourself.”

“What? I’ve never seen you jealous!”

“I’m not jealous, you nerd.”

“You’re the nerd, di Angelo.”

“Just get the groceries.”

And stay away from Karen?”

“Yes. What, no! I don’t care!”

“It’s okay, Neeks! I won’t flirt with her.”

“Don’t call me Neeks.”

“Alright, sweetheart.”


With a smug smile, Will made his way to the cheese section. On his way, Karen stopped him and handed him a piece of paper. “Call me sometime.”

Will smiled apologetically and said loud enough for Nico to hear, “I’m sorry. It turns out my roommate has a crush on me. We have a date tonight.”

His phone suddenly exploded with loud Italian swearing and a lot of unflattering comments about Will’s idiocy.

Karen laughed and nodded at the phone. “Is that him?”

Will nodded. “Demanding.”

“That’s cute. Enjoy your night then! Nice meeting you,” Karen waved and walked off to the check-out counter.

With a smile, Will put his phone to his ear. “See? I’d never cheat on you, darling.”

“You just wait, Will,” Nico snarled, “I’m going to-”

“Kiss the hell out of me?”

There was a long pause on the other line. Will bit his bottom lip. Maybe he’d overdone it. He opened his mouth to apologise but Nico spoke again.

“No, actually, I won’t kiss you. Let’s see how long you can last.”

“You little-”

Laughing loudly, Nico cut the phone. Now Will was just standing alone, smiling stupidly at his phone. With a small victory dance and wildly beating heart, he filled the cart with whatever else he needed, rushed through the checkout and nearly ran back to his car.

He just hoped Nico had prepared something delicious for their date. Though he doubted it. That Italian didn’t know a thing about romance. And Will was so going to get that kiss.

This zero-waste grocery store has no packaging, plastic or big-name brands

Forget Whole Foods. The Germans have created a store with eco-conscious customers in mind. Well, at least in Berlin—the newest home of Original Unverpackt (Original Unpackaged). You won’t find any paper or plastic bags here—or any kind of bags for that matter. This new grocery store creates zero waste by allowing customers to purchase exactly how much they need, reducing waste in their homes.

Original Unverpackt doesn’t carry any products under popular brand names; instead, they carry mostly organic products. Original Unverpackt stocks their shelves using a bulk bin system with an assortment of fruits, vegetables and grains. Even shampoo and milk are dispensed from refillable containers according to Salon.

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Minneapolis nonprofit food store Good Grocer offers its customers discounts for volunteering

Customers are helping run a new grocery store in Minneapolis, which is testing whether people power can make quality food more accessible to lower-income residents.

Good Grocer recently opened its gleaming new store — both inside and out — on a drab stretch of Lake Street between Kmart and Interstate 35W, replacing what was a fading furniture rental shop. The nonprofit business model is equally rare, offering a 25 percent discount to any customer who agrees to become a member and volunteer at the grocery for two-and-a-half hours a month.

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