Publix Slogan History

When people hear the phrase, “where shopping is a pleasure,” Publix immediately comes to mind. That slogan has been around for a very long time, but it wasn’t the first.

When 22-year-old George Jenkins decided to open his own business in 1930, he was determined to run a better store than anyone else. He focused on delivering the finest service, in the finest stores, with the finest employees. So it’s not surprising that his first motto was, “Florida’s Finest Food Stores.” During the 1940s, Publix stores proudly advertised this phrase on store fronts, grocery bags and Publix trucks.

Publix History Truck

As stores expanded into new cities, an advertising department was established to promote Publix to new customers, first through newspaper and radio ads, then later in television commercials. In 1949, Bill Schroter was hired as director of advertising for Publix. In addition to having a degree in advertising, Bill had worked part-time with the All-American food stores that Publix acquired a few years earlier.

As he was working on ad layouts, he took a hard look at the slogan, “Florida’s Finest Food Stores,” and realized that it sounded like we were bragging. Bill felt that the company motto should be a pledge or a promise to customers, not a boastful pat on the back.

Mr. George and Bill Schroter, Publix’s first director of advertising.

Mr. George and Bill Schroter, Publix’s first director of advertising.

He had been listening to customers, and often heard people say, “Publix is such a pleasant place to shop.” It triggered something, and he came up with an idea for a new slogan, a promise to customers to be the place “Where Shopping is a Pleasure.”

Working up his courage, he went in to talk with Mr. George. He explained his idea about changing the slogan.

Bill said, “Mr. George was very, very silent for an awfully long period of time. He sort of stared through me for a few minutes. The perspiration popped out on my brow.”

But finally, Mr. George gave a grin and said, “I like it. I like the promise. I like the meaning. Let’s adopt it.”

So in 1953, “Where Shopping is a Pleasure” became the new Publix slogan. But more than that, it was a declaration to customers that our sole purpose is to make their shopping a pleasure. That’s been the Publix commitment from the beginning.

In his own words, this is how Mr. George felt about the Publix slogan.

“We have a slogan down home which appears on the façade or walls of all our stores, ‘Where Shopping is a Pleasure.’ This isn’t something we dreamed up out of blue sky and white Florida sand. It’s a philosophy that has guided all our decisions and policies ever since we opened our first food store. We have tried to make good and sure that nothing, and I mean literally nothing, stands in the way of making that slogan a reality for each and every one of our customers.”

Publix History Slogan - Mr. George2

 

If you have a story about how your Publix makes you feel that it’s the place where shopping is a pleasure, we’d love to hear it.

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.

2 Comments on “How Publix’s Slogan Came to Be

  1. Sharon Miller

    We have lived in Florida for over 20 years. The local Publix, located on Winter Springs Blvd, Oviedo, FL is only about one mile from our home. The store is clean and well stocked. The people that work there are friendly and helpful. The BOGOs are an excellent way to save money. We rarely shop anywhere else. We love our Publix!

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