1000th Publix Store Opening

On January 1, 2000, people around the world celebrated the arrival of the new millennium. This decade brought advances in technology that would enable Publix to test new ideas and improve our stores, bringing customers exciting new products, services and store designs.

 

Hitting 1,000 stores

1000th Publix Store Opening KeyPublix continued expanding into more states, creating jobs, building community relationships and introducing customers to the place “Where Shopping is a Pleasure.” New markets included Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama, and Nashville and Chattanooga in Tennessee. By 2009, we reached another huge milestone — our 1,000th store. At the time, we were one of only five grocery retailers with that many stores in the U.S. On February 5, 2009, crowds showed up for the grand opening of this store in St. Augustine, Florida. To commemorate the event, Publix donated $1,000 each to eight local-area schools to use toward the purchase of school supplies.

 

Aprons Cooking SchoolNew store formats

In 2001, we opened our first Publix Aprons Cooking School in Tampa, Florida, where we began offering customers cooking demonstrations and food tasting, as well as hands-on learning. It was a big hit, and today we have Aprons Cooking Schools in 11 cities. In 2003, the first Publix Liquors opened in Miami and Kissimmee, Florida, offering wine, beer, soft drinks and accessories all in one convenient location. Since these stores opened, we’ve grown to more than 200 locations and counting.

 

Publix Sabor Grand Opening

Another store format, Publix Sabor, opened in Kissimmee, Florida, in 2005. These stores feature a wide variety of Hispanic products, including our own Publix Sabor items like crackers, mojo, espresso, canned beans and malta.

Responding to the increased interest in healthier living, we developed our own brand of food and non-food products called GreenWise, offering many organic options. In 2007, we opened the first GreenWise Market in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

GreenWise Market Opening

Technology brought a new convenient service with the ability for customers to request their prescription refills online. Five years later, Publix announced a program to offer customers a selection of free oral antibiotics. By early 2008, we had filled one million prescriptions.

 

Publix 75th Anniversary PinEvents to Remember

In 2005, we held a company-wide 75th anniversary celebration. Every store was adorned with nostalgic signs and decorations. Customers were invited to enjoy a southern meal tasting event with country fried steak, peppered mashed potatoes and southern green beans. We also created a special Chantilly Jubilee Publix Premium Ice Cream and offered cake for dessert.

The 75th anniversary was certainly something to remember, but there was also something many Floridians would like to forget. During 2004, Hurricane Charley was the first of four individual hurricanes to impact Florida, along with Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. It was also one of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the United States, resulting in flooding, extended power outages, store closures and loss of homes and property. Despite the impact to our business, the Publix family came together for each other and the community, donating bottled water, ice and funds for hurricane relief efforts. To ensure we can serve our communities affected by disasters as quickly as possible, Publix began its generator program. A combination of mobile and stationary generators allow our stores to be almost fully operational when power outages result from storms. This is a perfect example of how, despite all the changes each decade, the heart of Publix is the same as it was in the beginning.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed looking back at the decades from 1930 to the 2000s. If you could travel back in time to visit a Publix of the past, which decade would it be and why?

Jennifer B.

Written by

Jennifer B. has been with Publix since 1980, when she started working part time in high school. She has held positions of Assistant Director of public relations and Director of media relations, but her current role as the Company Historian is the highlight of her career. She loves sharing Publix trivia, telling stories about Mr. George and solving Publix’s history mysteries. In her life outside of Publix, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband and catering to the whims of their cat Jackson, who is master of all he surveys.

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