Publix’s second quarter sales increased by 3.8% to $7.0bn, with comparable stores sales up 2.1%.
A solid performance across H1
Publix continues to deliver a solid performance, although the rate of comp sales growth slowed significantly from the 3.9% which was achieved in the first quarter. For the first half year as a whole, the retailer recorded comp sales growth of 3% - ahead of the 2.2% that was achieved in the last full financial year. Net earnings grew ahead of sales, up 5.1% to $400.9bn.
Stronger price focus as competition intensifies
Over recent months the retailer has been placing increased focus on its value credentials. In response to Walmart’s ‘Market Basket Challenge’ campaign, the retailer has been running a series of its own comparison advertisements stating that “Walmart doesn't always have the lowest price.” Price competition has intensified in Publix’s core areas, and in particular Florida, as Walmart and Aldi have expanded and driven strong price and value messages.
Investing to offer added convenience and save shoppers time
Pricing is not the only area in which Publix is investing. With a reputation for offering outstanding customer service, the retailer recently announced that it would be rolling out its online easy ordering service to all store delis following a successful trial. The service, which will be in all stores by September 2014, enables customers to order meats, cheeses and custom sandwiches using Publix's website or a smartphone, and arrange for a pickup time. This has been well received by shoppers for its convenience and time-saving credentials.