Publix Company History Timeline

(433 Jobs)

George Jenkins opened the first Publix Food Store in Winter Haven, Florida, on September 6, 1930 - a 3,000 square foot building located at 58 Northwest 4th Street.

In 1930, George W. Jenkins, the late founder of Publix Super Markets Inc., opened his first store called Publix Food Store in Winter Haven.

What George Jenkins envisioned in 1930 has grown into the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States

6, 1930, George Jenkins opened his first store, called Publix Food Store, in Winter Haven.

George Washington Jenkins started the chain back in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida with one store.

Take a tour of our photo timeline to learn more about the history of Publix since our company was founded in 1930.

Founded in 1930, Publix is an anchor in the Florida experience.

In 1930, at the age of 22, Jenkins had dreamed up a trove of ideas to improve the functioning of the store.

He was reportedly willing to meet with any employee who had an idea for improvement, a courtesy he thought he had been denied in that Piggy Wiggly in 1930.

Publix was founded in 1930 when 22-year-old George W. Jenkins left his position as manager of a Piggly Wiggly store and opened his own small grocery store in Winter Haven, Florida.


Gross annual sales in the early years averaged about $100,000, slowly rising to $120,000 by 1934.

In 1934, that store made $120,000 in sales.


In 1935, he opened a second location across town.

He then built another in 1935, also in Winter Haven.

Jenkins added a second Publix store in 1935.

In 1935, he opened a second market, the Economy Food Store, also in Winter Haven.


On November 8, 1940, his "food palace" opened at 199 West Central Avenue, having piped-in music, air conditioning, cold cases for frozen and refrigerated items, in-store doughnut and flower shops, and electric-eye automatic doors.

In 1940, he closed both of these food stores to open his dream store known as Publix Super Market.

In 1940, when Jenkins opened his first “super market,” the store featured several features that were rare—if not new—to customers, including air conditioning, automatic doors, fluorescent lighting, terrazzo floors and a scale at the front.

By the way, the company still has that original 1940 scale in its corporate offices in Lakeland and it still works.

In 1940, he purchased a large plot of land and opened the first Publix supermarket in Winter Haven, Florida.

The Publix Market, which opened its doors in 1940, was the first supermarket in Florida to offer air conditioning.

In 1940, Jenkins, affectionately called "Mr.

The success of Publix is due at least in part to its strategy of offering innovative services to its customers. For example, the first Publix Market, constructed in 1940, offered Florida grocery shoppers air conditioning for the first time.


In 1945, the Lakeland Grocery Company was put up for sale, and Mr.

In 1945, he acquired a warehouse and 19 All American stores from the Lakeland Grocery Company.

In 1945, Publix procured a warehouse and purchased 19 grocery stores from the chain All American, which Jenkins altered and rebranded under the Publix umbrella.

In 1945, Jenkins purchased the 19-store All American chain of food stores and converted them into Publix Super Markets.


In 1950, just five short years after the big purchase, Publix outgrew the old Lakeland Grocery Company warehouse and looked for property where a larger facility could be built.

After relocating headquarters to Lakeland, the company constructed a 70,000-square-foot store there in 1950.


In 1951, Publix’s 24 stores grossed more than $18 million.

In 1951, Publix moved its headquarters from Winter Haven to Lakeland, Florida, and built its first distribution warehouse there.


In 1955, gross sales had increased to $49 million.


In 1956, Publix achieved $50 million in sales, and $1 million in profit.


Nobody knows for sure when this tradition began, but it could date all the way back to 1957 when the chain opened its first bakery.

In 1957, the donut shop in each store was expanded into a full-service bakery.


By 1959, Publix was the dominant supermarket chain in Central Florida, and began expansion to South Florida, opening a store in Miami and acquiring six stores from Grand Union.


In 1963, the company built a distribution center in Miami, and began providing deli services.


In 1967, Publix added office space to the front of the building, which expanded the entry and lobby, as well as both ends of the building.


Sales reached $1 billion in 1974.


Jennifer B. has been with Publix since 1980, when she started working part time in high school.

Publix added a dairy processing plant to its Lakeland facilities in 1980.


Sales grew to $2 billion in 1982.

In 1982, the company launched the Presto! ATM network; it soon installed ATMs in every Publix.


It began by only opening 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in 1983.


Along with constructing a dairy processing plant in Deerfield Beach, Publix also opened 30 new stores in 1988.


George Jenkins handed managerial control of Publix to his son Howard in 1989.

Sales exceeded $5 billion in 1989.


In 1991, the firm unveiled its first 65,000-square-foot store.


Fried chicken followed in the '70s, with the current recipe being finally introduced in 1992.

“Pub Subs” were introduced in 1992 as well.

Historical bonus: A time capsule buried under the oolite limestone in the park at its inauguration in 1992 is set to be opened this year, revealing the zeitgeist of the city at the time of its creation.

Sales in 1992 exceeded $6 billion.


Publix was named one of the top ten companies in Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work for in America in 1993.


On October 5, 1995, Publix opened its 500th store in Miami, Florida.


Jenkins passed away in 1996.

In 1996, Publix Super Markets was sued for sexual discrimination by three women.

In 1996, the firm moved into Alabama for the first time.


Rather than go to trial, Publix agreed to an $85 million settlement in 1998.

By 1998, the company operated 70 stores near Atlanta, holding roughly 22 percent of the grocery market there.


Publix acquired nine stores in Atlanta from the A&P supermarket chain in 1999.

"publix super markets, inc." notable corporate chronologies. farmington hills: gale research, 1999.


The firm's profit margin climbed to a record 3.6 percent in 2000.

That case was settled for $10.5 million in 2000.


In 2001, the firm donated $2.1 million to the March of Dimes.

Although that threat failed to materialize, Publix decided to launch its own online grocery service in September of 2001.

At the end of 2001, Publix broke ground on a new corporate office building in Lakeland that would create office space for approximately 1,200 associates.

After more than ten years of consecutive growth, sales for Publix reached $15.3 billion in 2001.

Florida Monthly magazine rated Publix "The Best Grocery Store" in 2001.

Officers: Howard M. Jenkins, Chmn., 50, 2001 base salary $373,750; Hoyt R. Barnett, VChmn., 57, 2001 base salary $279,625; Charles H. Jenkins, Jr., CEO and COO, 58, 2001 base salary $356,800; W. Edwin Crenshaw, Pres., 50, 2001 base salary $337,900; David P. Phillips, CFO, 41

Charles Jenkins succeeded his cousin, Howard Jenkins, as CEO in 2001.


"publix announces annual results." business wire, 1 march 2002.

The firm also ranked number one on a national customer satisfaction survey completed by the University of Michigan Business School and the American Society for Quality Control in 2002.

publix super markets, inc. home page, 2002. available at


The deal was announced on June 9, 2008, and was completed on September 9, 2008.


On February 5, 2009, Publix opened its 1,000th store in St Augustine, Florida, becoming one of only 5 United States grocery retailers to achieve that quantity of stores.


In 2011, Publix announced it was expanding into North Carolina, initially by opening stores in the Charlotte metropolitan area, and later announced construction of a new store in Asheville.


In 2014, a gay employee told New Times that he had been denied bereavement leave when his partner of 33 years passed away.


During her time at Publix, the company grew into the largest supermarket chain in Florida, expanded into five other states, and recorded $32.5 billion in sales in 2015.


Today, Publix has grown from a single shop into a sprawling collection of more than 1,100 supermarkets that brought in $34 billion in 2016.

Today, Publix is a sprawling collection of more than 1,100 stores, which grossed $34 billion in 2016.


Grutman and Williams first joined forces in November 2018 for the opening of Swan and Bar Bevy in the Design District.


"Publix Super Markets, Inc. ." Company Profiles for Students. . (April 16, 2021).

"Publix Super Markets, Inc. ." Company Profiles for Students. . Retrieved April 16, 2021 from

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Company Founded
Lakeland, FL
Company Headquarter
George Jenkins
Company Founders

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