Publix has taken the top stop in the new People magazine ranking of the Top 50 Companies that Care.
The fourth annual list also includes two other food retailers: Wegmans Foods Markets, which was No. 5; and Target, which was No. 12.
People magazine teamed up with Great Place to Work to produce the rankings using the workplace analytic firm's extensive database and inside knowledge of outstanding workplaces around the globe. Rankings are based on surveys representing over 4.8 million employees’ experiences of how their workplaces have made a difference in their lives and in their communities. Rankings also reflect Great Place to Work’s assessment of the generosity of each organization’s benefits, and their philanthropic and community support, with particular focus on activities in response to the coronavirus.
“Being recognized as the top company on the People’s 50 Companies that Care list is an honor,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “When the first Publix store opened 90 years ago, our founder, George Jenkins, instilled a set of values that still guide us today. Our philosophy has always been to respect the dignity of our associates, treat our customers like royalty and give back to our communities.”
Publix earned the No. 1 for a variety of reasons, according to People.
The food retailer set permanent pay raises for employees to recognize their efforts on the front lines of the pandemic. It also implemented “emergency pandemic pay” to ensure associates with little-to-no sick pay available would be paid for time missed due to illness related to the coronavirus. The company also put in place sweeping safety protocols in stores to protect employees and customers, and established special shopping hours for adults 65 and over, first responders and hospital staff.
Publix also launched a new program to connect needy families with farmers, some of whom saw a drop in demand as schools and restaurants closed. The initiative aims to help farmers and families by purchasing fruit, vegetables and milk from Florida produce farmers and southeastern dairies and donating it directly to Feeding America member food banks, serving 283 counties in the seven states in which Publix operates.
Target won recognition for its positive treatment of millennial employees, among other reasons. Wegmans won praise for its honest and ethical business practices, along with employees crediting the retailer with giving them the proper resources, among other reasons.
Privately owned and operated by its more than 200,000 employees, Lakeland, Florida-based Publix has 1,239 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The company is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Target is No. 7 while family-owned Wegmans is No. 36.