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Two stories about Publix this morning…

• The Palm Beach Post reports that after a decade of aggressive real estate acquisitions, “Publix Super Markets now owns nearly a third of its stores … As of Dec. 31, Florida’s dominant grocer owned -- rather than leased -- 371 of its 1,167 locations, or 31.8 percent. In 2007, Publix owned just 11 percent of its stores, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of Publix’s financial filings.”

The story notes that “Publix reported sales of $34.6 billion for 2017 and a profit margin of 6.6 percent -- an unusually high figure for a player in the notoriously low-margin grocery business. By contrast, grocery giant Kroger showed a margin of just 1.1 percent for the first nine months of 2017.”

The same Post story says that “Publix said it was giving raises to its 193,000 employees, although it didn’t disclose the size of the raises.” The move comes as Publix reported that it got a $224 million tax cut in 2017 because of the the change in the nation’s tax laws; the retailer also is facing, like other retailers, it is facing as tightening job market.

• Meanwhile, the Sun-Sentinel reports that after years of enduring entreaties from employees - including, most recently, a petition signed by more than 17,800 people and posted on - Publix has agreed to review its dress code policy, with a possible eye toward allowing employees to have beards.

The company has said that “we are constantly working to better understand what is best for our customers and associates (and) are currently piloting guidelines that include allowing our male associates to wear neat, clean and professional beards and goatees in a few Publix locations. Rest assured, food safety remains our top priority, and that will not be compromised.”
KC's View:
For gosh sakes, let them have beards, as long as they are neat and trimmed and clean. It’s 2018.