Publix is the Florida store…or at least now is seen as such since the Burdines brand died. Floridians have come to view Publix as a bit of a statewide institution, something which is truly our own. The company which is admired for being employee-owned and regularly cited as a “happy” workplace has a darker side to it. The Miami New Times has a great article listing all of the company’s issues and why conscientious Floridians can shop at Publix but still not adore the company.
It’s worth noting Publix also has about as strong a lobbying effort at the local, county and state levels as any other company in the state. So perhaps we are programmed by those we elect to believe Publix is the Florida stores and an indispensable statewide institution? We can feel the same way about Publix as we do about Disney which most progressives in this state patronize (if they patronize Disney at all) while holding their nose. Or we could even think of Publix as just a bigger and prettier version of Winn Dixie – a Florida based supermarket chain that sells groceries and has lots of locations throughout the state.
The LGBT discrimination Publix has engaged in has been fairly high profile. But other incidents involving the supermarket chain are adding up and undermining the carefully crafted image the Lakeland-based company has cultivated over many years. Again, the article from The Miami New Times summarizes it better than I ever could.