Who Owns Publix Markets?

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Publix Super Markets, Inc., commonly known as Publix, is an American supermarket chain based in Lakeland, Florida. It was founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins and has since grown to become one of the largest supermarket chains in the United States. But who owns Publix Markets? Let’s dive in and explore.


Publix Super Markets is a private corporation that is primarily owned by its present and past employees and the Jenkins family. Approximately 80% of the company is owned by employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), while the remaining 20% is owned by the Jenkins family, descendants of the company’s founder, George W. Jenkins.

Ownership Structure of Publix Markets

Publix is a private corporation that is wholly owned by present and past employees along with members of the Jenkins family. Notably, it is the largest employee-owned company in the United States. Employees own approximately 80% of the company, while the remaining 20% is owned by the Jenkins family.

This unique ownership structure was established by the company’s founder, George W. Jenkins, who wanted employees to feel like owners of the company and share in its success. As a result, the average employee holds about $150,000 in stock, fostering a strong corporate culture and contributing to the company’s success.

Evolution of Ownership Structure

The ownership structure of Publix has evolved since its inception in 1930. In 1956, Jenkins established the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which allowed employees to own shares in the company. This move aimed at ensuring that the company’s success would be shared with its employees.

Over the years, Publix has grown from a single store to a chain of more than 1,300 supermarkets, with retail sales reaching $54.5 billion in 2022. This ownership structure has greatly contributed to the company’s growth and success over the years.

Comparison with Other Supermarket Chains

In comparison to other major supermarket chains like Kroger and Albertsons, Publix’s ownership structure stands out. Both Kroger and Albertsons are publicly traded companies, unlike Publix which is privately held and employee-owned.

Impact of Ownership on Business Operations and Decisions

The ownership structure of Publix significantly impacts its operations and business decisions. The company’s founder, George W. Jenkins Jr., believed that if workers had a stake in the company, they would be more conscientious in their duties and dedicated to taking care of customers.

This employee ownership model has fostered a culture of shared success and responsibility among its associates, creating a sense of pride, commitment, and motivation. Consequently, Publix is consistently ranked as one of the best companies to work for and one of the most popular grocery stores in the country.

Future Plans of Publix Markets

The current owners of Publix Markets plan to expand their presence in the Southeastern United States and enhance their online and delivery services. They have been focusing on opening new stores, renovating existing ones, and improving online services.

As of September 25, 2023, Publix has 1,388 stores in the United States, with the most number of stores located in Florida. The company has also been working on enhancing its online and delivery services to keep up with the growing demand for online grocery shopping.


In conclusion, Publix Super Markets is a unique example of an employee-owned supermarket chain. The company’s ownership structure has played a pivotal role in its growth and success, contributing to a strong corporate culture and high levels of customer satisfaction. With its future plans, Publix continues to demonstrate its commitment to its employees and customers alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can employees acquire shares in Publix Super Markets?

Employees can acquire shares in Publix Super Markets through the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The company offers stock to its employees, who can choose to buy into the plan.

Is Publix Super Markets only present in Florida?

No, while Publix Super Markets has a significant presence in Florida, it operates in several other states in the Southeastern United States. This includes Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia.

How does the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) contribute to the company’s success?

The ESOP at Publix Super Markets contributes to the company’s success by fostering a sense of ownership among employees. This encourages employees to take pride in their work and strive for the company’s success, as they directly benefit from it through their stock holdings.

Are there any plans for Publix Super Markets to go public?

There have been no announced plans for Publix Super Markets to go public. The company has been successful with its current employee-ownership model, and there’s no indication they plan to change that in the foreseeable future.

Does Publix Super Markets operate in any other sectors apart from grocery retail?

Yes, apart from grocery retail, Publix Super Markets also operates several cooking schools, and has a significant presence in the pharmacy sector. They also offer various services at their stores, such as floral arrangements and money services.

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