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Why we ask retail job seekers to apply in person

Patti Breckenridge

Patti Breckenridge

I don’t know what I would do without the Web, and I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way.

When I need to buy a big-ticket item like a car or an appliance, I go to the Consumer Reports website for advice, and then immediately check out prices online from reliable vendors.  Projects like this used to take  weeks.  Now I sometimes wrap them up in a day or two and usually make more informed decisions.

 Before there was Facebook, I was unable to find my best friend from grade school.  Now I’m planning to see her when I visit California next year.

Just as important, I rarely have to go to the library to research a topic for work.  Search engines lead me to a multitude of experts and a wide range of published material.  I can find more information in one hour on the web than I used to find in a day at the best of libraries.  And there’s no gasoline consumed in the process!

People searching for jobs have also become accustomed to using the web to find openings anywhere across the globe – and applying for them instantly from their computers.  So why does Publix require job seekers to go to one of our 1,070 stores to apply?

There are three reasons.

  1. Customer Service.  We want job seekers to have the opportunity to speak with a person if they have questions about working at Publix or about our application process.   We’re in the customer service business.  Besides, we look for candidates who understand what premier customer service is all about.  If we don’t provide them with that kind of service, during the application process, they would have good reason to question our commitment in that area.
  2. Quality Control.  We prefer to attract applications from people who shop in our stores because they already know our standards of excellence, particularly with customer service.   If we ever fail to attract enough customers to apply for our openings, then we might consider accepting applications on the web.
  3. Sense of Urgency. We want to know if someone is nearby and ready to work.  When we need help in our stores, we need it immediately.  We can’t wait for someone to relocate from another city. Requiring people to apply at a store greatly reduces the number of candidates from outside our market area.

We know we are bucking the trend.   More and more retailers are accepting applications online.   And we accept online applications for our corporate, distribution and manufacturing positions.  But hiring for our stores is different.   We need to know that applicants are familiar with Publix.  We need to know they live nearby.  And we need to provide them with the same premier service we provide our other customers, something that is difficulty to do online.

It’s not that we don’t provide a great deal of information on our website,  In fact, there are more than 120 pages there offering details about the duties of many hourly positions, the benefits we offer, the average pay of our managers, and the locations of our stores.  There’s even a fun quiz. 

 But if you want to work in our stores, you do have to apply in person.  Sometimes, technological progress doesn’t fit every situation.

 Patti Breckenridge
Recruiting Manager

34 Responses

  1. EDGAR MACHUCA January 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm #


    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 8, 2013 at 11:42 am #


      I encourage you to apply at Publix! We have a kiosk in each store where you can apply. You need only apply at one kiosk (called a Job Application Center) and managers from surrounding stores will also see your application.


  2. 45445h January 15, 2013 at 7:36 pm #


    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm #


      To be considered for a position at your Publix store, you must go to the store and apply at the kiosk called the Job Application Center. If you have any questions while you are there, feel free to ask at the Customer Service Desk. We welcome your application! It takes 35-40 minutes to complete the process.


  3. dpetrain January 16, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    I am currently a Publix associate, and I’m trying to get information about job openings in the new market which will be opening in North Carolina. I have a bachelors degree in creative writing and would love to be able to get in on the ground floor of the corporate office in this market. I’m not sure if you are the person I should be speaking with, but as of yet I have not been able to find anybody with information as to how to go about applying for a position that doesn’t exist yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My name is David Petrain and currently work as a produce clerk in store 1123. Have a great day.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm #


      Details about the transfer process for North Carolina will be published by summer. In the meantime, thank you for your dedication to our company and our customers!


  4. Agudias Paulino January 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    hey hello , i am to the applied this before about last 1 weeks ago and i dont know how will be complete and get hiring to me

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm #


      I’m sure what you are asking or saying.


  5. babyxime24 February 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    Hello Miss Breckenridge. My name is Martha Montoya and I am interested in working at good company like Publix. I will like to know if I can apply online from my computer at home or I have to go to the store and apply in person. Thank you very much and have a great day.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge February 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm #


      I’m sorry it took me so long to respond to your question. You can apply online if you are interested in our corporate, distribution or manufacturing openings by going to However, if you are interested in working in one of our stores, you must apply in person at a Job Application Center kiosk. There is one located in every store. You can apply in one store and managers at surrounding stores will also see your information. We require that candidates apply in person for several reasons. We explain those reasons on this web page:


  6. mragozzino February 21, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    Hi Miss Breckenridge,

    I’m currently a Publix associate and am interested in working in the I/T field in Lakeland. I would like to talk to a technical recruiter from Publix. When I was hired I was told that Publix hires from within first when trying to fill positions. I was also told that you must be working at Publix for a certain amount of time before you can apply for inside jobs at Publix? Can you clarify and get back to me about working in Lakeland in the I/T department?


    Mark Ragozzino

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge February 21, 2013 at 9:53 am #


      First of all, thank you for our dedicated service to Publix! I’m excited that you want to build a career here. Please email our IT Recruiter at He can advise you on the best way to get into our IT Department. As far as how long you need to wait to apply for another position at Publix, that is something you need to work out with your supervisor. I hope this helps!


  7. qualityservicefirst February 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Hi Patti,

    How refreshing this is to hear n a day and age when almost everyone is encouraged to apply online, Publix continues to focus on personalized service. I absolutely love the whole shopping experience at Publix. Everyone is always so friendly and so courteous! It’s no wonder a face-to-face visit is required for anyone wanting to work at the store level.

    Keep up the good work!


  8. terryhenry April 5, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    This is a really interesting concept, and I understand your reasons, but do you not think that you’re open (somewhat) to both neglecting great candidates (by only being open to in-person applications) and also open yourself to the accusation of discrimnation? For the latter point, I’m no way implying that you are, just that it might be a perception among others; that your ‘quality control’ is a way to judge a book by its cover… I still think online resources are great for job seekers. I work in the UK and when I was looking a retail job I used a site we have here: They can be thorough for both the job seeker and employer, who can ‘head hunt’ for employees. Thinking about it, though, they can sometimes leave you saturated with applications – something, I presume, is less the case with an in-person application process. As I say, it’s interesting! Not something I’ve heard before, really.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge April 8, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      We know there are talented individuals beyond those who take the time to apply in person at Publix. But we also know from years of research that our best associates are those who learned about Publix by being a customer. Allowing online applications would take us away from that core group. It’s not just how talented someone is that matters to us; it’s their prior knowledge of our values that makes a real difference. As far as discrimination is concerned, we monitor our stores continually to make sure our hires are representative of our customer base, which is very diverse.

  9. cskaj April 10, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I applied Monday morning an was called 3 hours later to come in for an interview the following Wednesday. Do they usually call an applicant that quickly or should I feel that the experience an availability I presented in the application were great for the position they are looking to fill. Also, what should I wear to the interview? It’s for an hourly position, hopefully cashier. I was going to wear my blue dress up shirt an a nice pair of jeans an shoes since I don’t really have anything nicer when it comes to casual wear. I hope I get the job I really need it an would love to work for publix.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge April 10, 2013 at 10:49 am #

      Congratulations on being invited for an interview! Not often are applicants called so quickly after applying. Your attire sounds fine. I usually recommend not to wear jeans but if you are dressed up, that should be OK. Good luck!

  10. donkeyfeet9 April 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    My name is Benjamin Powell , I recently relocated here from Sacramento, Ca. I have a lot of Grocery,produce and working in professional kitchens knowledge. I’ve also worked in Health and Nutrition management with vitamins,minerals,supplements and herbs. I’ve shopped in your store and found it to be a place I would like to work. Looking forward to applying in person !

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge April 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm #


      We welcome your application! It sounds like you have some very valuable experience. Please make sure you speak to a manager in each Publix store where you want to work. You only have to apply at one store; managers at other stores can see your information. But it really helps to reach out to managers to briefly tell them about yourself.


  11. sgmaciejewski102461 January 22, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    Thank you very much for the information. I will be going in to apply at the many locations near me. I asked alot of employees their opinions, in several different types of grocery stores and retail stores, in order to make my decison. Almost all of the responses were,”Go to Publix. They are good to their employees and it is a very professional and positive place to work!” I am also a customer and love my Publix!


    Sheila Maciejewski

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm #


      You only have to apply at one store. Surrounding stores will be able to see your application.
      So glad your friends are steering you to Publix!


  12. ilikepublix January 25, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    Great info! I’m thinking of applying at publix and was wondering should the option to choose specific days and hours you are available to work when you apply at the Job Application Center only be used if you are NOT ABLE to work any day, any hours due to other obligations (exp. college)? Or can those who just don’t WANT to work full 8 hour days and are seeking part time employment choose this option to choose the hours they would like to work? (exp. Everyday from 8:00 A.M – 1:00 P.M. only) Thank you

    • ilikepublix January 25, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

      * Oops, I meant 7:00 – 12:00 in the example, sorry. I thought Publix opens at 8.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      That’s an excellent question! Applicants who have the widest availability have the greatest chance of being invited to an interview. So it’s best to be as flexible as possible in listing our availability. ~ Patti

  13. cary27511 April 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    Ms. Breckenridge,

    I know you will be opening a store in Cary, NC, by late summer 2014. Since there will be no job kiosk until the store opens, and no other stores in the immediate area how will the hiring process begin? Is there a date for when the process will begin? Is there a way to be notified of when the process will begin?

    Thank you!

  14. khrystal0621 July 1, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    My name is Khrystal Aviles and I recently turned 17. I’ve been looking for a job and I thought Publix would be a great place for me. I haven’t had any work experience, but I learn quickly and communicate well with others. I was wondering how likely do you think it is that I will get hired.

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge July 2, 2014 at 9:57 am #


      Thank you for thinking of Publix! Nearly 470,000 people apply each year for the 52,000 positions we fill. So there definitely is competition. The key is to meet with a manager after you appl to explain why you would make a great Publix associate. Then persistently follow up with that manager over the next 30 days. Your application can be seen by other Publix stores, so feel free to visit managers in surrounding stores as well.


  15. cakesbyary January 7, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    Good morning , my name is Ariana Patino, I applied to work at Publix through the Job Center Application some time ago, today I wanted to update my application but forget my password, when I tried to retrieve my password the system gives me an error when placing the response of “My Hint” questions stating that the answers are incorrect. I tried starting from scratch but the system tells me that my SS already in the system and that I cannot apply again.

    I wanted to know if you can help me since I want to apply for a position that is currently open and matches my work experience.

    I appreciate all your help you can give me.

    Ariana Patino

    • Patti Breckenridge
      Patti Breckenridge January 7, 2015 at 3:56 pm #


      Please go to the Customer Service Desk at the store and ask for help. They are trained on providing you with assistance.


      • cakesbyary January 7, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

        Thank you so much for your help. I will

        • Patti Breckenridge
          Patti Breckenridge January 9, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

          You are most welcome!


  16. Lauren-Taylor March 19, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

    Hi Patti,
    I am 15 years old and looking into a summer job this year as a cashier. Your advice has helped me sort out most of my questions, and they have helped so much! Publix is a great company, and I love the atmosphere it has. I was wondering who to ask to see the manager, as I see that an upfront conversation would be a great opportunity for both me and the manager. I look forward to your response, you have done an outstanding job answering many people.

    • Maura Satchell
      Maura Satchell March 21, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

      Hi Lauren, Patti has retired, but I’m very glad to help you and am glad you have found our blogs helpful. You will want to speak with a store manager. If you go to the Customer Service counter you can explain you’ve applied and you wish to speak with the manager. They will get the right person for you to speak with. Don’t forget to update your application each 30 days so it remains active and best of luck to you!

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