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Nov 14, 2009 03:30 AM

Publix product requests - Lack of customer service

In the past 12 months Publix stopped carrying many items that were staples in our household and replacing them with inferior products. In each case I spoke with a manager and received the same reply "our distribution center stopped carrying that item." In days of old it seemed grocery stores made an effort to look into items requested by customers.

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  1. Have you gone to their website & told them? You will get a response & if they get enough feed back, the missing items may return. Publix does not want their customers straying off the reservation.

    1. You can blame shelf time......with today's computers and tracking devices for inventory control, e.g., UPC codes....the stores (and corporate mothership) know exactly what sells and what does not. I have a friend who sells to Costco Stores and he told me regardless of the item and how good it is, if it stays on the shelf for more than 30 days, his items are discontinued......Also, there is little product loyalty as well. Let's say you are in the market for paper plates and your choice has always been Dixie Products. The Supermarket you shop at gets them for a dollar per unit of 100. Now a company called Dart comes in and offers the same item in the same count for .98 cents.....The supermarket switches the brands for a short time, or until another company comes in with a better offer.....Dixie or other. Those pennies add up for the bottom line.

      1. Our "unofficially adopted" daughter is a grocery manager with Publix. One thing I've learned from her is some items are stocked by Publix (arrive on their trucks from their distribution center) and other items are stocked by individual vendors.

        Recently, my favorite soy sauce went missing from the shelves. I asked her about it and she spoke with the vendor about it. In this case, they were able to restock it. However, there have been other instances where the vendor had completely stopped carrying that particular item.

        Items carried through their distribution centers are bid/acquired on a national basis. But, individual stores have different profiles and stock different items. For example, one store in our area has what they call the "full Mexican set". IOW, that store carries many more items specific to Mexican cuisine than other stores in town.

        Bottom line, there are cases where the store manager(s) have some say over items stocked. In other cases, it is out of their control and you need to approach the national company about it. They are very good about responding to communication from their website.

        3 Replies
        1. re: onrushpam

          Modern inventory control is not my friend. I think I am getting more and more like my late mother with each passing year. She was totally brand loyal. If she found something she liked she stuck with it. In the later years when I did all of her shopping there were times that it drove me nuts! One day she was in the mood for a fish sandwich, fries and an orange drink for lunch. I stopped by the wrong fast food chain and she wouldn't even take a bite.

          1. re: Windsor

            Good for Mom Windsor!!! My mother (now 90) was also brand loyal. Heinz ketchup, always,e.g. My wife will buy Heinz or Del Monte or whatever. I remind her that own stock in Heinz and she says, "good, with the money I saved on this bottler of ketchup you can buy more stock."

            1. re: Windsor

              I would probably be more brand loyal if I ever knew the name of the products I like. Unless something has graduated to my Must Have List, I rarely know the name of a product; I only know what it looks like on the shelf. When manufacturers decide to change their packaging, never for any good reason that I can fathom, that product has been "discontinued" because I can't find it any more.