This list of items changes from region to region and even from store to store. The items on the “theft-prone” list are locked up for safe keeping. It is essential that Publix continue to take the necessary actions to prevent the likelihood of theft. While a company cannot prevent all attempts of theft, it can certainly do its due diligence to ensure that the number of cases of theft is minimized. Additionally, Publix employees play a major role in reducing the amount of legal costs the company incurs.
All employees are expected to work to ensure store safety on a consistent basis. By being proactive with these types of training programs and locking away commonly stolen merchandise, Publix is lessening the amount of time and money it spends on legal issues. Economic Factors With the recent downturn in the economy, many customers are now looking for the lowest price retailer to purchase from. Publix has built its brand based mostly on the quality of products and the shopping experience, not the lowest price.
Retailers that consumers generally equate to low prices include Wal-Mart and bulk buying retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club. With that in mind, in times like these, Publix seems to be at a major disadvantage. Publix understands that “there is strong competition in the supermarket industry”(Weinstein, pg 272). Publix, like many other grocery chains, is having a difficult time competing with low cost supercenters. Even in a recession, the average American consumer is still spending a large portion of their income on food. Although U. S. food spending is on the rise, supermarkets are not capturing their fair share” (Weinstein, pg 274). Consequently, Publix has to now change the consumer focus on price to one of value. “Publix’s goal is to make every customer feel personally valued in such a way that they see themselves as one in a million”(Weinstein, pg 269). If Publix is able to continue to differentiate its product’s value for the consumer, it may be able to convert the supercenter shopper into a loyal customer. Social/ Cultural Factors At Publix, everything revolves around pleasing the customer, which is why it has enjoyed much of the success it has had since the 1930s”(Weinstein, pg 269). Superior customer value and quality of products are cornerstones in the Publix culture. Publix depends on the fact that a more educated consumer is willing to pay a slightly higher price for great service. The average Publix customer is well-educated and lives within a 5 mile radius of the store in which they shop. Publix understands that it is far easier to maintain a current customer than to attract a new one.
Thus, “Publix associates are [also] encouraged to use their daily observations, customer feedback, survey evaluation, and other data to improve their jobs, better serve their customers, and make Publix a better place ‘where shopping is a pleasure’”(Weinstein, pg 280). Technological Factors “An industry study revealed that by 2007, about 20 million households in the United States will purchase groceries, food, and other household items online…However, to date, none of the major grocery chains have mastered the online arena”(Weinstein, pg 281).
Publix is working towards how to profitably master implementing the technological processes that its customer is demanding. In an attempt to enter the online grocery market, Publix launched PublixDirect in 2001. This service came to an end in 2003 despite all the proper planning that went into its conception. It is imperative that Publix finds a way to control its costs in an effort to compete with the few successful online grocers that currently dominate the market.