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Happy 75th Anniversary, Publix!

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Today marks the official 75th anniversary of Publix Super Markets, based here, whose founder George W. Jenkins -- "Mr. George," to his employees -- opened the doors to the first Publix store in Winter Haven, Fla. with the philosophy of pleasing the customer.

"From the early years pioneering Publix Food Stores into what would become Publix Super Markets, Florida's first supermarket, Mr. George inspired his employees to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction and innovation," said Publix spokesperson Maria Brous. "Today, Publix associates keep his legacy alive as they continue to make the difference in their stores and in their communities."

Commenting on the employee-owned chain's significant milestone, c.e.o. Charlie Jenkins Jr., said, "As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, we are also celebrating Mr. George for having the courage to venture out on his own during the Great Depression, for believing in associate ownership, for making customer satisfaction his priority and for instilling the principles that have made us successful."

Of the occasion, Publix's Web site declares: "In 75 years, we haven't really changed that much. Our stores are larger. Our selection of products and services has expanded. And we've gone from one store to nearly 850, in five states. But Publix's commitment to outstanding quality and exceptional service is the same as it was when we opened in 1930. Our founder, George W. Jenkins, believed Publix should provide customers with the most outstanding quality and exceptional service anywhere. We still believe it. Publix strives to understand your needs, and provide wholesome products and timesaving convenience that fit your busy life. We work hard to give you clean stores, well-stocked shelves, the best-tasting fresh foods and a money-back guarantee. In short, we do what it takes to make shopping at Publix a pleasure. The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Publix commemorated the occasion earlier this year with a companywide customer celebration.

In other news, for the third year in a row, Publix has been named the No. 1 supermarket pharmacy in customer satisfaction in the nation by Wilson Health Information, a consumer research firm.

According to the Wilson Rx study, Publix customers are particularly satisfied with their pharmacy's convenience, including store hours and parking. "Publix has always been a customer service-oriented company, and our pharmacies are no exception. Our pharmacists take time to build relationships with their patients in order to provide quality care and exceptional service. We're proud once again to receive this recognition," said Brous.

The results of the Wilson Rx National Satisfaction Survey are based on responses from 20,003 pharmacy customers in the top 20 U.S. metropolitan markets. It's the largest study of its kind. WHI is an independent, healthcare consumer research company based in New Hope, Penn.

Owned and operated by its 130,000 employees and with 2004 sales of $18.6 billion, Publix has 863 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. The company has been named one of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For in America" for eight consecutive years.
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