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You’ve probably heard the expression, “bursting at the seams.” Well, that’s a pretty good description of what’s been happening at Publix’s corporate office in Lakeland, Fla. Today, a big announcement was made:  Publix is expanding our corporate office building! The expansion will add 190,000 square feet of office space to the current 320,000 square feet, and construction is expected to begin in late 2019.

When the building was originally constructed in 2001, it housed approximately 800 associates.  Since then, Publix has

  • added 500 new stores,
  • entered three more states,
  • added 70,000 associates companywide, and
  • introduced new store formats such as GreenWise Market and Publix Liquors.

With all this growth, it’s no surprise that the number of people working at the corporate office has increased from 800 to 1,400 and counting.

 

 History Repeats Itself09_Post2_JB_History_Corp_image2

This isn’t the first time we’ve expanded our corporate office building. The first facility Publix constructed is 5 miles away from our current building. Completed in 1951, the 125,000 square-foot office and warehouse building was cited as the most modern structure of its day. It was designed with the same art-deco style of the early Publix stores.

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About 15 years later, store growth led to expansion of the building.  The additional office space was completed in 1967, and this facility remained as the corporate office until the move to our present-day location. At that time, the original office was renamed the George Jenkins Building in honor of Publix’s founder, and a number of corporate support departments still work from this facility today.


Before 1950

If we go back even further in time, Publix occupied another facility prior to building our own. In the very early years of our history, our main supplier of goods was the Lakeland Grocery Company. In 1945, the Lakeland Grocery Company was put up for sale, and Mr. George knew09_Post2_JB_History_Corp_Image4 this would be the perfect opportunity to expand his business, so he negotiated a deal to buy the company. This negotiation included 19 small retail stores called All American, and a small warehouse in downtown Lakeland.

The need for expansion is a sure sign of success, and it’s all thanks to the many Publix people working in our stores and support facilities to make sure that shopping is always a pleasure for our customers!

 

Trivia:  A small container is buried under the cement of the corporate office.  Can you guess what items are inside?

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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