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In our last look at the past, we turned the clock back to 1950. Our next stop on the timeline is 04_JB_History1960s_Wings Architecturethe 1960s. If you grew up in this decade, you were most likely among the first to eat Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts and Lucky Charms cereal. You also watched the premier of ABC Network’s color program, The Jetsons, a cartoon series about a space-age family. The Beatles made their U.S. debut on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, and in 1967, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl.

Modern styles of the 1960s brought changes to the appearance of Publix stores. The art deco architecture was replaced with a wing design created by famed Florida architect, Donovan Dean. Centered in the wings were neon lights that blinked downward. At night, the lights looked like a flowing waterfall. These “wings” helped Publix fly to new heights.

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The 1960s was a decade of growth for Publix. We hit a milestone in 1964 when we opened our 100th store. It was a grand celebration! Included among the attendees of the store opening were Mr. George’s family and none other than Dick Pope Sr., founder of Florida’s famous attraction, Cypress Gardens. At the end of the decade, there were 150 stores and 4,000 associates throughout the company.

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With the move into the southeast coast of Florida, it was time to establish a distribution facility to support stores in that region of the state. A new warehouse was built in Miami, and it opened in March 1963. Now Publix was ready for unprecedented growth.

 

On Dec. 8, 1966, we hit a milestone in Miami when five Publix stores opened simultaneously. 04_JB_History1960s_DeliEven today, opening five stores at the same time would be pretty spectacular, but it was considered an historic event for the 1960s.

By the late 1960s, the “lunch meat and cheese” section of the meat department became the Delicatessen Department. Another new department was the Danish Bakery. When bakeries first began, 04_JB_History1960s_Bakerythey were actually separate from the store itself, and there were separate entrances. Moving the bakery into the store was much more convenient for customers. Read all about the history of Publix bakeries here.

 

 

As the trend of company-labeled products known as “private label” continued to expand in the supermarket industry, Publix was on the forefront, offering more of its own brand. In 1968, Publix introduced a selection of cultured products called “Dairi-Fresh.” Breakfast Club 04_JB_History1960s_Dairy Productsmargarine also joined the growing number of Publix private label items. This trend would not only continue, it would eventually result in Publix developing its own manufacturing plants. But you’ll have to wait to read more about that in coming articles!

 

 

Just like today, when customers had their carts full of all these exciting new products, friendly Publix cashiers were waiting for them at the register. But unlike today there were no scanners, so the cashier punched in the price of each item on a cash register, and the customer paid with cash or check. If you’re wondering how cashiers knew what the prices were without scanners, every individual item had a price sticker on it. All those price stickers had to be put on the items by hand before being placed on the shelves. Those stock clerks did a lot of stamping! Little did they know, technology was coming that would make things much easier for both the customers and the store associates.

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Hope you enjoyed this trip back in time! If you shopped with us in the 1960s, we’d love to hear your memories.

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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