It's all in the details: Publix reveals its secrets behind the shelves, founder's prediction

The Publix-way of doing things may not be obvious when you shop, but every detail of how things look in a store is carefully thought through, adjusted over time, and still incorporates its founder's philosophy of customer service.

Publix CEO Todd Jones knows the art of selling groceries. In the bakery, they call it "shoulders up." That's how they stack the cookies. From any angle, the customer thinks they are seeing the front of the package. 

"You notice that we put one angle this way. One angle this way," Jones described to FOX 13. "So, if a customer is on this side, they are seeing the front. On this side, the front. So, you see these beautiful chocolate chips in there."


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In the produce department, they call it "soft hands." It's how they stack the produce. Jones said it's all about color and care. 


"Color breaks help stimulate the customer's senses. It will draw them in," Jones explained, "and stacking. We call it hand-stacking to give it a market feel. It saves the product. They are not dumping it in. It's fruit. It's gonna bruise. They have to hand-stack it to take care of it. It gives it this beautiful look."

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In the grocery business, you have to stay on top of the trends, and much has changed over the past 90 years. At Publix, that goes back to one person: "Mr. George," that's the founder, George Jenkins.  


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Jones recalled going through some of his old papers, saying Mr. George predicted the following about grocery shopping -- 60 years ago:  

"I see a day that Mrs. Jones will order their food over the phone. A color TV phone. While that's not possible today, we have to prepare for that future tomorrow."

That color TV phone sure sounds a lot like today's smartphone.

In Publix history, Jenkins has been known to value his employees and their opinions, and offering a friendly customer service.

"He knew that the respect they had for each other would reflect in the service provided to customers," according to Publix.

That philosophy, they say, still plays a role today.