Did you know Publix works with suppliers all over the world to provide our customers with the products they want?
“An interesting part of our business that many associates may not know about is our overseas partnerships,” said Business Development Director of General Merchandise and HBC Chris Haake. “Associates from several business areas travel to other countries to source products that may not be manufactured in the U.S.”
For example, in June, buyers from our corporate purchasing department traveled overseas to look at Valentine’s Day, Easter, spring and summer non-food grocery items for 2016. There, they visited showrooms with thousands of products to consider.
“Our buyers study the latest consumer trends and know what customers are likely to purchase,” said Chris. “They look for those items and also check the quality and craftsmanship of the products to make sure we get the best items for our customers. We place our orders a couple months after our return home, and the overseas factories begin production almost immediately to meet our needs.”
Once the products are ordered, it takes 90 to 100 days for Publix to receive them. Much of that time is spent shipping the products across oceans on huge cargo ships. Once they arrive at a U.S. port, the items are transported to our distribution centers and then on to our stores.
“The whole process takes about a year, from planning our orders to receiving the products in our stores,” said Chris. “It’s a worthwhile effort to make sure we’re providing the products our customers want when they want them. And, it’s a great way to learn about other countries and cultures, too.”