The Walmart Slayer – Love It!

July 26, 2013 

i heart publix The Walmart Slayer   Love It!

I had a couple of people send over links to the new Forbes article that talks about how Publix is winning the grocer war. Basically the article focuses on what we all know…Publix customer service really does make a difference!

What I loved reading is that Forbes notes that Publix is the most profitable grocery chain in the nation. Their 2012 net margins of 5.6% beats out Walmart’s 2012 net margin of 3.8% and Kroger’s 2012 net margin of 1.6%. How cool is that? I think most people would agree that Publix has the cleanest stores, best customer service and highest quality products. All of that and they are still profitable – brilliant!

For me, their customer service means more than anything. My time and money are both very valuable and the last thing I want to do is waste either. It’s very rare today to get good customer service at any type of retail establishments. I can’t tell you how many times I have bought shoes, clothing, electronics and such and the cashier never even bothered to look up, much less smile or greet me. Heck, the other day I was buying new socks for my boys and the cashier never even looked at me. Instead she was too busy conversing with another employee about various aspects of her love life. She dropped some of my change, said oops then quickly turned to finish her conversation. I looked at my husband in awe. I made a point to loudly say – “Thanks, I hope you have a great day.” You know, I was not shocked by the fact she didn’t hear me.

Now, don’t get me wrong I am not asking that stores roll out a red carpet and greet me with confetti. However, common courtesy and friendliness sure do go a long way. I work very hard for my money and want to make sure I am getting value for that money…value in the product and in my experience!

I can still remember one of my final visits to Wallyworld. You guys know I have a love for hummus. Well, many moons ago, I found a recipe and wanted to give it a try. The recipe called for tahini. I had no idea where to begin looking for this sesame paste that I had never bought before. I looked for a few minutes then went over to an employee who was standing at a podium type thing at the front of the store. I asked her where I might find the tahini that I needed for my recipe. I have to note that she looked less than pleased to have been working that day. I asked her where I might find the item and was appalled at how this woman treated me. She had no idea where to find the item and the few suggestions she had I had already checked. She was not pleased that I didn’t walk away after her ideas were exhausted. I politely asked if she could find someone to help me since I really needed this ingredient for my recipe. I suggested maybe she could call someone on her walky talky who might be able to assist me. Little did I know that would incur an insult with her final suggestion that if I needed more help I’d need to go stand in line at the customer service. I looked over at the line and asked her if she was really suggesting that I stand in a line that had 20+ people miserable standing for returns. Her reply was….”You can stand in line or just go somewhere else.” So you know what…I left my cart with her and walked out the door. That was the last time I ever went there shopping for groceries. (I did have to run in once to buy socks for my son on the way to a wedding but it literally was my only option in the area or I would never have given them another dollar after my tahini fun–tee hee!)

Let me tell you about a similar experience recently at Publix. I was in Alabama visiting my husband’s family and needed some little juice glasses. We were on our way back from the beach and had to stop by Publix to get my husband’s father’s birthday cake so I decided to see if maybe I could kill two birds with one stone. I was exhausted and was honestly embarrassed to be in the store…after a long day at the beach I know I looked and likely smelled terrible! After grabbing the cake I kinda stood looking at the signs trying to determine which aisle might be my best bet to look for those juice glasses. An employee approached me and asked me if I needed help. I explained to her what I was looking for and she said that they may be in one of several spots and proceeded to walk me to 4 or 5 different aisles to show me all the options I had to choose from.  At one point I felt bad about her taking so much time with me and said she could just tell me the aisle number – her response….”No, It’s my pleasure!”  I kinda giggled and said…”You know, I Heart Publix!”

My store is awesome – I know most of the people there. They go out of their way to be kind, helpful and just downright friendly. What makes me love Publix even more is that I can go into a store where I am not a “regular”, no makeup, sweaty and likely stinky and they are still as helpful and friendly as ever!

I really wish more companies would follow Publix in their efforts to be customer service oriented. I wish they’d realize that consumers value things other than super cheap products. They might also keep in mind that we remember the type of service we get at their stores. My Wallyword visit I described was years ago and I still have not forgotten that miserable shopping trip!

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Comments

84 Responses to “The Walmart Slayer – Love It!”
  1. Diamond says:

    I Love Publix!!!

  2. Ida says:

    I was once looking for miso paste for a recipe. I asked ONE young male Publix worker if he knew where I might find it. Before I knew it, there were THREE workers walking all over the store looking for it for me, and running to the back to ask managers, etc. They had all stopped doing their stock-work to help me find miso paste. Conclusion, no miso paste, but the original young man I had asked for help, looking VERY dejected that he was not able to help me, suddenly remembered a valuable Publix service and enthusiastically said, “We can special order it for you!” I absolutely love Publix. And, oh, I absolutely hate WalMart. I have not shopped there in over 10 years.

    • Michelle says:

      Ida–how funny!! I have to share that I sent my husband after Miso Paste not too long ago and he had a similar experience.

      I try to give him very specific instructions to make his shopping trip as easy as possible. He called me from the store laughing that my dang Miso Paste request had the entire store looking. He said no less than 6 people were helping him. They even looked it up on the computer before finally letting him know that it was not at the store. They even offered to call other stores. It was awesome…

      Even my husband who is not easily impressed was wowed that so many folks would take that much effort over one item!

      • Ida says:

        Ha! Love it! And OMG, if I sent my husband to Publix for miso paste he’d probably 1.) never ask for help, 2.) wander the store for hours looking for it himself, and 3.) call my crying. Hahahaha.

  3. Lisa says:

    Actually, the Walmarts in my area have really improved…I have found them to be helpful and very coupon friendly and their price matching policy is amazing. In my area, Publix customer service is wonderful unless you’re using coupons. Then you get the stink eye and the “I know you’re a crook” attitude.

    I love your website, Michelle, but I venture into Publix these days only for the deals I can’t get anywhere else.

    • Jess says:

      I agree. I rarely shop there, but I’ve had some really fantastic experiences at Walmart in the past. I feel for the wonderful employees in those stores that are always bunched into the “All Walmart people are garbage” category with articles like these.

      Is it well known that Michelle has this blog in the stores she shops?

    • maria says:

      This is true. I have seen improvements on Walmart customer service. Still can’t expect five people to help you find Miso paste, but some improvement compared to before.

    • Valerie says:

      WOW!! My Publix is so cool about taking coupons. Very well versed in the coupon policy and extremely helpful. I’ve actually experienced the every employee looking for the item I need and last week I asked the seafood person about the pillsbury biscuits I was looking for and he stopped what he was doing, removed his gloves and went looking for the young guy that worked the section. The young guy kept bringing different biscuits out trying to find out which one I was looking for (because I wasn’t very clear in what I wanted) and then went and got a manager to help when he still couldn’t find them (turns out they don’t carry the ones I was looking for). Both were extremely friendly about the encounter. I do wish our Walmart wasn’t so rude and hateful about even checking me out. Last time I went in, I was even cussed out by an employee when I asked about an item I was looking for. Several items I now pay much more for because I won’t go in Walmart again. :(

  4. patrina says:

    I “heart” Publix. The stores are ALWAYS clean and friendly. Plus they love couponers and don’t look at us like we are stealing for using them. When I have gone to WallyHell in the past, the cashiers look at you like you are stealing your groceries for using coupons. Meanwhile the real theives are rolling TVs out the front door with no problem as the “managers” stand up front at their little podiums. Thank goodness for Publix stores. Greatfull I have 3 near bye to chose from, and greatfull for Michelle putting togther all these fabulous deals for us!

  5. Jess says:

    As much as I love Publix and only shop there, you can have the same awful experiences in their stores, too. They have made up an image of being #1 for customer service, but I’ve experienced some pretty rotten visits. I’ve listened to front end staff make fun of customers bodies/clothes/purchases/payment type/disability as they leave. I’ve gotten visibly annoyed reactions when daring to ask those stocking shelves to tear themselves away from texting to help me find an item. Their deli associates across MANY stores are some of the most unpleasant people I’ve had the joy of meeting. These are just some of the incidents that come to mind right away. How many times have we read about fellow couponers being treated in horrible ways by cashiers and customer service staff?

  6. Marla says:

    I feel the same way. The staff at Publix is always nothing but kind and courteous to me and my family. My daughter has special needs and uses a communication device and every cashier we’ve dealt with will take a minute to listen to what my daughter is saying/asking and respond. And often there is a balloon for her as we head out of the store. I absolutely love Publix – I make sure to go online and leave compliments through publix.com all the time.

  7. Erica says:

    First of all, CONGRATS to Publix! This corporation sure deserves to be on top. While Publix may not be perfect, in my experience, they are THE BEST there is when it comes to customer service & cleanliness. I’ve had my share of run ins with bad staff members at different Publix locations and even a few bad experiences at my favorite location. But it doesn’t mean that they are not constantly improving the service, and therein lies the difference. Other stores consistently have horrible service.But if you make a manager aware of your problem at Publix, or even call the corporate office, the problem is always fixed and resolved. They get better all the time. Good luck trying that at Walmart. I love the savings I get at Publix, and I wouldn’t & couldn’t shop anywhere else and save so much! :-)

    • Lisa says:

      I’m glad for your good experiences. I wish I could say the same. Yes, Publix does have some nice employees, but I’ve been embarrassed or insulted a few too many times to wax poetic about their customer service. Many times it is the employee’s tone of voice or non verbals that I find hurtful, and I leave the store feeling bad.

  8. Angie says:

    I’ve had good & bad Publix shopping trips. It comes down to the store. Most are great (I have 8 or so options for my commute home). But the one across street from my office is the WORST! I recently concluded the lunchtime shopping convenience is not worth the headache! That said I also have a Walmart next to my office that I NEvER visit!

  9. Lucy says:

    I love Publix, it is my #1 Grocery store.Yes, you can find every once in a while an employee not customer service oriented, or dont know the store policy as well as many of us are. All it takes is good attitude, smile and let them know your experience. In my area the Deli and Bakery departments are very friendly. My son loves to get his free cookie every time we go to Publix.

  10. Gayle says:

    Well, anyone live in Tallahassee and want to comment on how great the customer service is? I would imagine Publix knows this site quite well and who runs it. I have met so many rude cashiers,even managers that are not willing to help a couponer with anything. I can’t name them all. They don’t like couponers, make you feel like you are stealing from them ; and it quite obvious. Once in a great while I will meet a friendly cashier and I shop Publix for the cleaniness of the store, and the quality of meat only. I think customer service depends a lot on the area and what the demographic makeup is of the areas, just like with the coupons. Publix is very generous in south Florida with coupons as there is competition there.

    • A. B. says:

      Go shop at the Publix at Mahan Village (next to Sports Academy). They are very friendly and very coupon friendly. In fact, I would say they even encourage the use coupons.

    • Kelly says:

      Which Publix in Tallahassee? I have shopped at several locations and never had a problem.

    • Melanie K says:

      I would be interested in knowing which locations you shop at in Tallahassee. I regularly shop at the Lake Ella, Blairstone and Mahan Village stores and am quite pleased with the customer service. Have I encountered one or two less-than-stellar cashiers? Yes, as well as one misguided “customer service” manager who seemed to make it her life’s mission to be a coupon nazi (she seems to have moved on, though.) But they are a distinct minority. I especially love the Lake Ella store and the new Mahan store; the Blairstone store doesn’t accept Harvey’s coupons, but that’s the only strike against them as far as I’m concerned. I find that most employees and especially managers will go out of their way to help a customer.

  11. Cindy says:

    I love your post! Yes, it is time for these greedy companies to realize that CUSTOMER SERVICE is the way to KEEP CUSTOMERS!! When I graduated high school (1976), i wanted to work in retail. Customer service was always the top priority at any store I worked. After ten years of retail I realized that it was not my calling and moved on but I have definitely notice as years went by how customer service changed. I blame this on the companies (not the employees). And your right, you don’t have to pull out the red carpet, just treat me with respect!

  12. Miriam says:

    I love this! I still shop at Walmart occasionally, but I never go in there expecting good, even decent, customer service. I go in and out. The cashiers are always grumpy, and they have no desire to help. The managers aren’t any better. It makes me very happy to know that Publix’s profits exceed those of Walmart and Kroger, though I like Kroger too. Neither of these can compare to Publix’s overall experience. It truly is a pleasure! Clean, great sales, great store brand products, yummy deli, GREAT customer service…. what more could we ask for? I love Publix!

  13. Mary says:

    If you are lucky enough to shop at a ‘good’ Publix, count your blessings! I can assure you they are not all like that. I agree that Publix is the best when you compare them to WalMart or Kroger. And at the Publix where I shop there are some wonderful stock people and cashiers. But there are an equal number of unhelpful, surly people. And if you have to go to customer service for anything? Forget leaving there with a smile on your face. They obviously put out an ad for the rudest, least helpful people in town to man that desk and they found them! So congratulations to Publix on their successes and congratulations to all of you who have a ‘good’ one in your area. And here’s hoping Publix will work on fixing the ‘bad’ ones.

    • Sam says:

      I have to agree 100%! Some of these stories sound nothing like my Publix. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I live in a heavily couponed area, but my Publix is anything but friendly. I have been snapped at, brushed off, ignored, or shortchanged/shortcouponed (they forget/intentionally omit coupons without letting me know) several times at my “customer-friendly” store. My worst experience was when I went to the customer service desk to ask if they had any organic milk in stock. It was a Friday, early in the day, and after asking me about twenty times if I had absolutely made sure I checked the shelf to see if there was any there, they called the stock people. After more discussion on yes, I want ORGANIC, not regular milk, they disappeared, and after 20 minutes or so of waiting, with my two year old about to lose it, they come back, plonk a gallon of REGULAR 2% in front of me and say “it was right there on the shelf.” I clarified that I wanted organic, as we’d discussed a million times to that point, and walked out the store. After that, I didn’t step foot in Publix for months. Just not worth being talked down to like an idiot.

      • jo says:

        oh my god u are so right in one publix I used to shop at the customer service manager was on a power trip forget that I don’t have time for idiots

    • Lana says:

      I too, have had those bad experiences with customer service. Some assistant managers at my stores are surly, too.

  14. Amy H-F says:

    I heart my neighborhood Publix so much. Even when I am across town, my daughter begs me to go to “our” Publix becuase she loves the employees so much. They remember her from trip to trip and love asking me about my coupons. My cashiers are all avid couponers and we always have a great conversation while checking out. Also, the other day my daughter asked where the Tai Pai Egg Rolls were since she couldn’t find them in the ethic section. The stock boy stopped and helped us look for a long time until we found them in appetizers. He was so sweet and I said I hated to bother him and he said “nonsense, that’s what I am here for.” I love this attitude so much. We are treated so horribly at other stores, that I am always shocked when I get such great customer service at Publix. My husband asked if my daughter and I wanted to move to another part of town and she said, what would we do without out friends at Publix. We’re not moving!

  15. Lori says:

    I Heart Publix, but will shop at a “small” super Walmart nearby that has great customer service.

    Just a reminder that if you are receiving great customer service at Publix such as those noted above that you should notify a manager. In the past the employee that has been given a pat on the back is then bought lunch or dinner, plus it makes everyone feel good!

    • Valerie says:

      That’s awesome to hear!! I couldn’t tell you the times that I have complimented the staff at my Publix on the great service that I have received. I’ve only shopped at Publix for about 6 months now so it still amazes me that a store can get it so right after the horrors I’ve experienced on a regular basis in other stores. I’ll definitely make sure that I continue doing this so that they can get there ‘bonus’.

  16. Lucy says:

    @ Lori, I Agree with you. We have to let Publix know of any experiences, especially those beyond our expectations. What I do when I experience exceptional customer service from someone specifically, I write to the corporate office, print out 2 copies; one for the manager and one for the employee and personally deliver the copy. -note: I also do it if I think an improvement is needed- Excellent customer service have to be acknowledge and praise the people who excel our needs.

  17. Brittany Musau says:

    Thanks so much for posting this – I couldn’t agree more. AFter beginning to coupon and seeing how much I save at Publix over Walmart, it really is a no-brainer. Go out of my way to be treated horribly and then ripped off at WalMart, or go for convenience, savings and a pleasant shopping experience! My husband works at our local Publix, and I’ve just printed this article to drop off to his manager!

  18. Bryan says:

    I am lucky that there are a number of Publix stores (and Kroger and WalMart too) in my area. At my regular Publix, at least 50% of the staff greet me by name when they see me in the store. Every once in a while, I get tempted by some special offer to go to Kroger or WalMart, but the surly attitudes quickly remind me why iheartpublix.

    • Diane says:

      I price sometimes price match Aldi’s produce at Walmart since Walmart is on the way and Aldi’s is out of the way. About 50% of the time it is an ordeal and I have to call the manager on duty. Neither my husband or son are willing to to go to Walmart for me. They will however go to Publix. At least at Walmarts I frequent there is no customer service. Publix has the best customer service in town.

  19. Gregory says:

    I work at a WALMART Neighborhood Market AND I have to say that I have had GOOD experiences at Publix and BAD experiences at Publix. I have had GOOD experiences at Wal-Mart and BAD experiences at Walmart. You cant judge a store by ONE visit or by a crappy employee(s). ITS A CASE BY CASE BASIS. I have had TERRIBLE Customer SERVICE at BOTH PLACES… Wal-Mart Price matches…. Does Publix? :)

    • DontMisUseQs says:

      My time is worth more than going to WalMart and standing in line to checkout, 20+ people deep in EVERY line. WalMarts are built with 30+ checkouts in the store, but you rarely see more than 8 open at one time.

      I don’t care if my items cost 20¢ more at Publix. I get in and out quickly and always have excellent customer service.

      • Christine says:

        I totally agree. Back — waaaay back — when I shopped at Wal-Mart, it never failed. I never understood why build so many registers if less than 5 will be open. I LOVE Publix. And if you happen to hit a rush period, they always open an extra register and/or take a few at the customer service desk.

    • Ginger says:

      While I’m sure this is true, I can personally count on one hand (and not use all my fingers) how often I have had a good shopping experience at any Walmart. And being a military family, I have quite a bit of comparison. I have found Walmart’s poor customer service to be wide spread. I just do not believe that customer service is a priority at Walmart. If it were, it would show in the way employees consistently treat customers. It is the only store I dislike more than the commissary.

      In contrast, in the last two years (the first time we’ve ever lived near a Publix), I can say I have only had one negative experience while shopping on a weekly basis there. The young man who bagged my groceries wasn’t as gentle with my produce as I would have liked. I have too many experiences to name where an employee CAME TO ME and asked if I needed any help. And then graciously provided that help. I have experienced pleasant returns, great knowledge of coupons and the store’s policy, friendly cashiers, and clean, well stocked stores. Consistently. I’ll take Publix over Walmart any day.

      Best wishes to you at your Walmart. I hope your store is able to rise above the poor customer service that is often associated with Walmart and is able to provide consistently excellent customer service.

    • Lana says:

      Price matching at my local WalMart is so much trouble that it is not worth my time.

    • Lucy says:

      I’ve had terrible experiences at Walmart. I used to shop there exclusively for years. It was usually a nightmare & the staff was unhelpful & annoyed when I asked for help. How many more times do I have to shop there to be convinced that the service there is seriously lacking. I switched to publix for all my family’s needs & I’m saving more & I’m so much more happy with the professionalism of the staff there. I see no reason to give my business to a place that treats it’s customers poorly.

  20. Christine says:

    The overall better customer service at Publix stems from the fact that Publix stock is employee-owned. Employees have a stake in the company profits and it shows. Don’t be afraid to report bad experiences to the manager, and send an email to the corporate website if you don’t get anywhere with the manager.

    I used to live in Giant Eagle country years ago and was treated even worse there than at Wal-Mart. Publix is definitely tops in customer satisfaction for me!

  21. Patrick says:

    I am a proud retiree of Publix. I worked for them from the age of 14 until I was 30. I learned from my very first days the importance of serving the customer. That training and practice has served me well throughout my professional career. I currently live an hour from the closest Publix…my heart aches each time I have to give my money to a retailer that consistently doesn’t care and makes no bones about it. Publix is not perfect but it does set a standard that very few ever reach.

  22. Traelee says:

    I am lucky to live near 6 Publix locations and have recently begun frequenting a store that goes above and beyond in all ways to help me. They’ll get on the phone and ask people in search of coupons I request. They bring my kids balloons. They run out into the rain without any hesitation so I don’t have to load my own groceries. No other store offers that type of service. I Heart Publix, seriously!

    We have a newer Walmart location that has been amazing (unlike the other 2 locations that make me feel as though part of my soul is dying under those florescent lights). I’ve had no issues using coupons there :) I left the store without a tshirt on July 4th. Two hours later, I went to the service desk to ask if it has been turned in and it hadn’t. The manager overheard and said, go get another one, just bring it back here so we can zero it out of inventory. That type of service has had me return to shopping Walmart when necessary.
    If only Publix sold ribbon and tube socks ;)

  23. tina brown says:

    I totally agree with you.. Even though, Walmart employees uniforms says “How may I help you?” they never look in the customer’s direction to assist. I went in there the other day to buy a new battery for my car and requested the employee to check the old one first before I purchase a new one due to their return policy incase the new one does not work. The employee told me that he could not assist because it was time for him to get off the clock. I went to cust. service and found an assistance manager to assist me The assistant manager was helpful but his job would have been easier if that employee had helped me in the first place. I preferred the self check out registers because most of the employees are not friendly and don’t care about the customers.. I love PUBLIX so much for their excellent customer service.

  24. Melissa says:

    I was a Winn Dixie shopper for years. I just felt that Publix was overpriced and honestly the parking lot gives me anxiety. Then Winn Dixie closed. Luckily I found iheartPublix.

    I love Publix. LOVE. The only time I ever left there grumpy was when they recently ran out of crab legs – but they did call the other store down the street and reserved some for me. I can’t see Walmart doing something like that.

    Always clean, always friendly and helpful. The cashiers ask for my coupons with a smile on their faces. I’m greeted and asked if I need help by every single employee stocking shelves. That’s another thing I love – you can always find someone if you have a question. At Walmart? Not so much.

    The only way I’ll set foot into Walmart again is if someone drags my dead body in there.

  25. Tanya says:

    I’ve got to share as well!
    You said that “cleanest stores, best customer service and highest quality products. All of that and they are still profitable – brilliant!”

    And I want to add: COUPONS – AND THEY ARE STILL PROFITABLE – BRILLIANT!”

    Yes, yes, COUPONS! Unlike in Walmart – crappy attitude of a cashier’s, shouting all over the store to a supervisor (I guess) to help her to enter coupons, giggling and smiling – who wouldn’t feel like crap in that situation?!

    What would we do without Publix?! Our life would never be the same again without him :D

    No Walmart for me, except 0.00$ items.

  26. Erika says:

    Customer service is exactly why I shop at Publix, and honestly, with sales and coupons, I often beat Wal-Mart prices.

    I’m even willing to pay a little more for some items b/c of the pleasantness of Publix!!

  27. Victoria says:

    I must agree that the customer service in the LaGrange, Ga Publix is awesome. Most of the staff know me by first name, and Ive never had a bad experience there. I do still shop Kroger and WalMart occasionally, but Publix is by far our main grocery store choice. We heart Publix!!

  28. Laurie says:

    Standing in an aisle in Walmart to buy my husband’s protein powder (it’s the cheapest for it, and up until very recently, was only carried locally in Walmart), I had my coupon book (a small photo album) opened to see if I could also get a good deal on protein bars, and this employee comes around the corner, takes one look at my coupon book and says condescendingly, “Oh, you’re one of *those.*” I didn’t think of a comeback until later (this has always been the case) – “And that’s why I shop at Publix!” I left Walmart for my weekly Publix run, where the manager himself complimented me on my many naice coupons and all the great deals I was getting that day.

  29. Niccole says:

    I love my Publix here in Apopka, FL. When the manager see me he always say hi to me and the boys or if they aren’t with me asks about them. I think that is awesome! Why? Because he remembers me. I love their customer service always very helpful.
    I too have had a couple runs in with Wallyworld. I don’t need to go into detail cuz well Its exhausting. LOL I just won’t go there again. Unless I absolutely have too.
    Publix is my main grocery store and so close to me! I Love It!

  30. carol says:

    Not defending Walmart by any measure but keep in mind the soul-destroying company the employees work for. I’d probably be ready to stick a knife in my eye after working for the Waltons for any length of time.

    • Teri says:

      Then get another job.

      • carol says:

        Fortunately, I got an education and I don’t have to work period any more, much less in retail. I do have tremendous respect for any employees who have to put up with such terrible B.S. from the public. After being a Publix shopper for years, my high school age kid got a job with them. She’s in college now and still working for them part time. Building up quite a nice portfolio of stock. Can Wally World employees say that? ETHICALLY-I will not set foot in the Evil Empire because of their draconian personnel policies.

  31. Lana says:

    I am no means defending Wal Mart employees and I avoid that store anytime I can but I do want to point out that employees of 24 hour Wal Marts are required to work whenever they are scheduled. They can work overnight one night and be back in that afternoon for another long shift. It is not the employees but the employer that is the problem.

    I do enjoy shopping at Publix but to be fair, in my area I have good service and friendly employees at most all of my grocery stores. I have had the same problems at my Publix that I do at any other store in town. It partly depends on what time of day I shop. Shopping at night pretty much guarantees me teenager employees who are talking among themselves and not very friendly no matter which store I go to.

  32. Teri says:

    While shopping in the middle of the afternoon, on a Saturday; I needed to run in a pickup some cocktail sauce for a dinner party. All of the Heinz sauce was gone. I know that WM has a state of the art distribution and reorder computer system, so I knew that there had to be some of the cocktail sauce in the back, just not out on the shelves yet. I did not have time to visit different stores to locate what I needed.

    I noticed two female employees in the freezer section gossiping loudly about a fellow employee. I politely interrupted them, asking if someone could look in back for the sauce. I was told that they were in the middle of something and that if it was not on the shelf, WM did not have the item.

    I then found a third employee, who did go into the back and found the box of cocktail sauce that had not been stocked. It took her over forty minutes and a manager, before the employees would even help her do her job. Only after several attempts did I point out to the manager, who was telling me, “If it is not out, we don’t have the item”, that WM has an amazing reorder system, and nothing is every actually “out of stock”, did he agree to look in the back were the helpful employee had located the stock.

    Seriously, the manager even had a horrible attitude. I purchased my Heinz cocktail sauce and thanked the employee and manager…but I seriously don’t know how they stay in business.

    The meat and produce or horrible. I would never purchase anything from the deli nor bakery, as the employees don’t seem to follow basic hygiene practices, the times that I have stood at the deli…seriously…I use WM as my last resort for canned items or cleaning supplies only, and even then it is a nightmare.

  33. Emily says:

    My brother works for Walmart so good for them for providing him with a job, but other than that, I don’t like Walmart. The Walmart closest to me never has want I want in stock.

    I do however love Publix. They always have what I need. They are always friendly. I am a new mom and my son is 3 months old. The other day he was crying while I was checking out and was apologizing like crazy to my casher and bagger. And they were like its fine and hes not bothering us. I was so grateful that they were polite and didnt seem to mind.

  34. Inexpensive Eater says:

    Publix is routinely listed as one of the top ten companies to work for in the United States and it shows.

    After spending too many years working at the “Land of the Eternal Bluelight”, I can tell you that the way an employer treats their employees is the way that the employees will treat their customers.

    And as far as I’m concerned, customer service jobs are pretty thankless – but I do expect a bare minimum of courtesy and attention or I will shop elsewhere. 1)Paying attention to me when I’m in front of you; 2)being able to direct me to an item; 3) being able to obtain a price check; 4) being able to tell me if there is more of an item in stock; These are what I consider the bare minimums of customer service. If that’s too much trouble for an employee to bother with, then it’s time to mark that store off of your list and find another place to shop.

  35. Laurie C says:

    Right on! I have had similar experiences and could not agree with you more, Publix really is doing alot right and Wal Mart should take note!

  36. Sharon says:

    Congrats to Publix. I agree it all comes down to the store. I have one up the road and I won’t go in there, they are very rude. I choose to go the one farther up the road. They are TERRIFIC!! As far as “Wally Hell” you couldn’t pay me to go in that place. When I first started couponing the Manager started arguing with me over a $1.00 coupon and proceeded to call me a few not nice words. GO PUBLIX!!!

  37. Frances says:

    I have been shopping at Publix stores since 1969 and I don’t remember ever having a bad experience. I am always polite and never ask for help in a demanding way.

    • Jane says:

      Goodness! Bad customer service is prevalent isn’t it? What the heck is going on? I thought it was just happening to me. They just don’t get it. The customer is essentially “The Boss” who has power (Money)to make or break a business.
      No customers (beautiful smelling or not)= No business (Profit/Yacht/Mansion) = No employees(No Job). So far, my experiences at Publix have been outstanding. I make it a point to let the managers know when an employee goes above and beyond to help me.

  38. Peggy says:

    I guess I’m blessed. My Publix is wonderful and even my Walmart is okay. It’s Kroger that I struggle with; they advertise these special deals when you buy 4 of an item and then will only accept 2 internet coupons. Go Publix!

  39. hadit says:

    I know this is mostly a “love fest” site for Publix but they Really get it! It all starts from the top down and that’s why Publix is the best in customer service. They expect it from the top and if any customer has a problem they should discuss it with the manager then contact corporate if they don’t see an imporvment. In this economy I talk to so many ppl who Don’t shop Publix becasue of the preconceived notion that it’s too expensive. It’s not , if you shop wisely and use coupons. My store is the best. They know me by name and I know theirs. It truely is a pleasure to shop there.

  40. Ann says:

    I love Publix! There is truly no comparison out there. Keep up the great work. Thank you for your site and hardwork..

  41. debra bailey says:

    i started shopping at publix 2 years ago once i started couponing.. i rarely go anywhere else.. i love how friendly publix is and how helpful they are .. one of my fav things about publix is how coupon friendly they are.. i wish i could count the number of coupon campaigns that they run..,coupons fall out of the sky… . i have noticed that when i go to krogers their customer service has taken a turn for the better… i believe they are following publix lead …

  42. Jennifer says:

    I have been shopping at Publix for more years than I can count. There really is no stores that can compare for me. The stores are clean. The people are absolutely great. The deals can’t be beat. I refuse to buy meat anywhere else. I could go on and on. I am really glad that they are knocking out the competition. They deserve it!! I HEART PUBLIX!!

  43. Brittany says:

    Walmart is the absolute WORST!!!The only store that I’ve been in that even comes close to Publix’s customer service is whole foods.

  44. Beth Fuller says:

    There is an inverse relationship in that I love Publix with the same intensity that I loathe Walmart. I will pay more for an item if necessary (always painful) to avoid going in Walmart!! Publix hasn’t let me down yet. I agree with you 100%!

  45. Brenda in Tampa says:

    The two Publix’s I have in Temple Terrace, FL are AWESOME! Several years ago, while waiting in the Deli for some chicken to finish cooking my son was sitting in the shopping cart and leaning over the handle when he lost his balance and toppled on to the rack in front of the Deli Counter. Within a couple of short minutes, a store manager was present making a report of the accident. They asked my son if he wanted a cookie to try to calm him down and he said, “with sprinkles?” They didn’t have any cookies made up for the kids with sprinkles on them, so they went out into the store an got sprinkles and came back and made him one. They then said they were going to assign an a personal shopper to me to help me gather the remainder of my groceries. I then explained that the chicken was the last item on my list. So we went to check out and they opened up a register just for me so that I could check out. They even let my son behind the counter and let him scan a couple of items. I told them if I had known that they were going to go to all that trouble for my son and I, I’d have thrown my kid over the railing of the shopping cart a long time before that. LOL!

    I had been in SweetBay when I was very noticeably five months pregnant and had slipped, almost falling due to some water on the floor in the produce section. When I told the manager of the store, all he did was have someone dry up the water on the floor and he didn’t even ask if I was okay.

    As for WalMart, I don’t have that kind of time to waste waiting for my turn at the checkout. I went in a few years back for one item — one box of frozen waffles. They put it in a bag, but didn’t put it in the cart. I am so used to having Publix put the item in my cart that I walked out without it. I had to go back to the customer service department, explain the situation and then go get a new box of waffles out of the freezer and go back to customer service and get approval to take the box out of the store. On another visit to WalMart, I went close to midnight for one of those late night projects. I ended up waiting for 20 plus minutes for the registers to re-open.

    The moral of my stories is that Publix is by far the champ at customer service. Yeah Publix!!

  46. Ruth says:

    My niece went to Publix looing for juice to make punch. While standing in the juice isle trying to make up her mind about the punch, an employee walked by and asked if he could help her find something, when she explained that she was just trying to make up her mind about punch he said “my wife makes the best punch let me call her” . He proceeded to call his wife and get the recipe and helped her pick out all the items se would need. I must say it was very yummy punch. This is one of the many reasons I will continue shopping Publix.

  47. Wendy says:

    Since I live in the home of Publix, Lakeland, I know many who work corporate, warehouse, and stores, etc. I feel that I am shopping locally when I shop Publix. Not only are their stores way better than any others around here, the Publix families, Crenshaw, Jenkins & Barnetts are extremely philanthropic to my local community. They have funded parks and numerous project in our city, county and surrounding Tampa Bay area. Just at Florida aquarium and one room was funded by one of the family charities. They are everywhere and giving with their profits to our community and support so much to make our city thrive!

  48. Debbie says:

    Living in now in Alabama and formally from Florida, I was so happy that Publix was in our area. We have 3 stores that we can choose from. We have our favorite and it is Pinson, AL. From being greeted when you arrive at the store, may it be in the parking lot to the customer service desk to the person who bags our groceries it is truly a pleasure to shop at this store. You can not find a better place to shop it is like the “old time grocery stores”, were they really do “care and help” you out with fantastic customer service. Coupons are never a problem and are encouraged in fact. Another satisfied customer who returns weekly :)

  49. christine says:

    WOW! I have NOT had great experiences at ANY of the Publix stores in Boca Raton FL. I have never been asked if I need help in the aisle and none of the cashiers seem to know their coupon policy. I try not to use more than 4 coupons per transaction because they always have to walk to customer service and ask if the coupon is ok (which it is because I got the scoop from here :)) this makes the people behind me not very happy!!!!! In frustration I’ve spoken to the store manager about this and what he told me was the coupon policy is constantly changing and that is why the cashiers are having problems! I’ve been living here for a year and have not noticed a change in the coupon policy…so, I don’t really know what he is taking about! Also, the stores by me don’t have much in the way of variety/flavors. We do have a GreenWise store which is REALLY nice but again, poor in service. The last time I was there, the cashier didn’t say hi to me, didn’t tell me my grocery total, and didn’t bag my groceries. Granted, it was only 5 items and I could do it myself but, he also could have done it while I got the cash out of my wallet. Oh well, what can you do?? I’m so grateful to I Heart Publix / community for helping me save money at the grocery store. Have a GREAT weekend everybody!

  50. Christi says:

    Just returned from vacation on the east coast of FL (live on the west coast). Same experiences there as @ home. The Publix employees (baggers, cashiers, stockers, cust. svc) were just as helpful on vacation as they are at home … polite, friendly, check coupons but no hassling!

    On the flipside, the WalMart experience was also the same on the other coast. There were items we needed on vacation that Publix just didn’t have: rash guards, a beach volleyball, beach umbrella, etc. It was next to impossible to find someone willing to help you (much less answer your question or request). The cashier refused to call for a price on an item missing a tag and actually asked us to get out of line, go get another one, and then get back in line for just that item. Um … OK? We had just spent 15+ minutes in her express line to begin with!

    Good business is just that … good business. Publix is consistently cleaner, more helpful, and a better deal with couponing. It is a pleasure to shop there and one of the 1st places I look for when we travel! Kudos to Publix!!!

  51. Trish says:

    Don’t let the profit numbers fool you. The profit is not from sales but from cutting out employee benefits(insurance,etc)and limiting the hours employees can work so they are not and likely never will be eligible for full time benefits. Yes, Publix is a great store to shop for many reasons including being coupon friendly, but they aren’t getting all that profit from us couponers. they are taking it from the employees.

    • Tracey says:

      Walmart does the same or worse, so it is comparable to compare Publix’s profit to Walmart. I will say that the employees I see at Publix seem happy, unlike Walmart, so I would venture to say that Publix does treat/pay/give benefits better than Walmart.

  52. Melanie F says:

    I don’t typically comment on people’s stories… but I completely agree. I go to Publix every other day. My Publix is amazing and the people are so helpful and caring… even for my 2 toddlers. They always offer to bring them balloons or cookies or sometimes they ask if they can watch them for me while I am checking out… WHO DOES THAT!!!

    I often purchase special orders for local charities and they all know me by name, and always have things ready for me when I walk in. Their smiling faces are always so amazing and I just love how clean and organized the store is. I could talk for hours about Publix so I am so glad that I am not the only one!!!

  53. Ellen says:

    Here here! I’ve had EXACTLY the same Walmart vs. Publix (and Winn-Dixie vs. Publix) experiences! I once asked a Walmart employee where to find a item – without breaking stride as she walked past she tossed out over her shoulder “I’m on break.” Other employees just tell you to check aisle so-and-so and when I say I’ve already checked there, they just shrug and walk away. Publix staff will not rest until they find the item I want. I was at a Winn-Dixie once time and purchased several gallon jugs of milk and water. I was walking with a cane (joint problem) and also was 8 months pregnant. I asked for help loading the groceries in the car and after 10 minutes of waiting for them to find someone, gave up and did it myself – actually, a customer in the parking lot saw me and HE came over and helped!

    I avoid both Walmart and Winn-Dixie and give my loyalty to Publix. The staff at my local Publix know me, help me, say hi as I walk down the aisles, and basically make shopping a pleasant experience. I HEART PUBLIX!!!

  54. margaret says:

    These numbers explain all the Publix bashing ads by Walmart. I do not shop at Walmart unless I really have too. Ours is full of rude, unhelpful people and they are usually out of what I might need. Publix on the other hand is a very pleasant place to shop. Ours does have some very rude check out ladies but I just go out of my way not to go through their lines. If I can’t find something or they do not have it the cashier always offers for the store to order it. Customer service goes a long way with me and Publix sure does a good job at it.

  55. Lila says:

    I do love Publix, and they are very helpful and nice most of the time. But I have to admit, when most cashiers see my coupons they get this look on their face “there is the coupon lady again, trying to rip us off”. I do use coupons, but most of the time I don’t have more than ten, sometimes I only have 2-3. There are even managers, who came up to me and “warned” that I can not combine the manufacturer and the store coupon since that particular deal will give you an overage and they can’t do that. Now if the item is free or almost free it’s already a great deal and I can understand that they don’t want to give me overage, which I think they are supposed to, but I can get over that, but I don’t like to be treated like I am trying to steal or cheat them out of money. Especially when a cashier is acting like it’s coming out of her pocket. I don’t understand why they act that way, Publix accepts coupons, they take competitor coupons, they encourage to use coupons, but for some reason the staff acts like it’s wrong. Most of the cashiers do try to be polite, but lots of times even they are polite, they are so short with me or get irritated with the coupons not scanning, that it makes me feel bad, and I saw the same cashier being nice to the person in front of me, why? Because they paid $5 for half a gallon of organic milk? And I am paying a dollar cheaper for the same thing because I have a coupon, so I am no good? No matter how much I pay the money doesn’t go in or come out of their pockets, so why act like I am stealing? I am sorry, but I can’t say that Publix is always great. I also take my 3 year old daughter with me most of the time, so usually our first stop is bakery to get a cookie, and some of the people there act like it’s wrong of me to get that free cookie every time I go to Publix, I guess they think I am taking advantage of them. I am sorry for this long message, but I had to vent a little. That being said, I still shop at Publix most of time, no other store where I live even comes close in great deals and coupon use.

    • publixcashier says:

      First off Lila, I’m sorry that you were treated like that. I’m not sure what store you shop at, but it isn’t how employees at publix should act.

      One thing I did notice on this thread was the mention of cashiers not seeming to like checking out couponers. With the rise in coupon fraud, we cashiers are now having to check virtually every coupon and match it up to the item(s) that it is for. Manufacturer coupons usually are pretty good about scanning, but sometimes the computer doesn’t recognize a coupon. I remember one lady that came through my line that had a coupon that WOULD NOT scan no matter what, and it turned out she didn’t even have the item-which can be frustrating after you and the bagger have taken apart and had to rebag two buggyloads of groceries.
      Larger orders with many coupons can be rather tedious, as we have to check many of the coupons, and there are often a lot.
      A few tips to make it easier on us and you when you use coupons:
      Please organize them! You have no idea how much easier this makes it for use, and we can get you out of the line faster and easier! Like the beforementioned lady, misplaced coupons are very irritating and it is time consuming to look for an item that doesn’t even exist in your order. Also, any coupon that has “get (blank) free”, it helps if you write the price on the coupon. Our computers prompt us to tell them how much the item was, and we usually have to go hunt the item down after we have finished checking everything out and the poor bagger has bagged everything.
      And, please, if you have a rain check, GIVE IT TO THE CASHIER BEFORE THEY CHECK OUT THE ITEM IT WAS FOR. There should never be any problem with rain checks-we issue them because it is our fault we are out of stock. However, it is a pain in the rear to have the customer cheerfully go “I have a rain check” after you have rung up 10 boxes of whatever, and then you have to void all the items off, go find a manager to override your void, and then recheck all of the items out.
      If you ever have any issues at the store, notify a manager or send an email to corporate. Corporate office DOES read these, and oftentimes, the poor customer service that you are seeing is the sign of an underlying problem that needs to be fixed. Thanks!

  56. J says:

    I wish there was a Publix in Northeast Indiana. They sound like a wonderful store.

  57. Charity says:

    Publix is awesome!!! I have been to multiple stores and never had a bad experience! Not so with Walmart! I have found Walmart customer service to be bad multiple times at multiple stores.

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