Background Guide Publix,Where Crisis is a Pleasure - GatorMUN

 
Background Guide Publix,Where Crisis is a Pleasure - GatorMUN
Background Guide
 Publix,Where Crisis
   is a Pleasure
Background Guide Publix,Where Crisis is a Pleasure - GatorMUN
2 Dear Delegates,
   I am beyond excited to welcome you to GatorMUN XVII and to present my very first crisis
   committee: Publix, Where Crisis is a Pleasure. My name is Mark Merwitzer, and I am a sophomore
   studying Political Science at the University of Florida. Since I am incredibly interested in politics,
   I joined Model United Nations last year as a freshman. Ever since I competed in a few college
   conferences and served in the staff of the previous year’s GatorMUN, I have been super excited
   to direct this committee. Although I am not a business major, I am fascinated by the retail grocery
   industry. I have worked for Publix since I was 14 years old. To this day, I am impressed by not only
   the scale of the company but also the many intricacies involved in running the largest grocery
   business in the southeastern United States. Outside of Model UN, I am a massive fan of 70/80s
   music, traveling to new places, and Star Wars.

   Enough about me, let’s get back to Publix. Publix is not just a grocery titan; it is a staple of
   Florida’s culture and pride. Overseeing the largest employee-owned company in the world
   comes with many fun, educational, and challenging scenarios that I look forward to throwing at
   you.

   While I do not expect anyone in the committee to know the exact way to make a perfect chicken
   tender sub, I do hope that you all dive into the basics of retail, including how Publix interacts with
   its community and how a large company deals with the diverse political landscape of Florida.
   In addition to this background guide, some great resources include Publix’s corporate website,
   recent news articles, the company’s SEC filings, and the Florida Retail Federation.

   Once in committee, I hope that you all will come up with innovative ideas to incorporate in the
   company. What I value as a director above all is seeing you all collaborate to come up with great
   ideas, and then see how you respond after we throw some curveballs to the committee. I enjoy
   delegate-driven committees. I hope to include your crisis plans as much as I feasibly can in the
   updates and see where the committee goes based on things that are happening collectively in
   the committee room. If it is within the realm of possibility, my staff and I will try to give you as
   much as possible. Try your best to be creative; let’s see what you all can do within your roles.

   Position papers will not be required for this committee. If you have any questions or comments,
   please do not hesitate to contact me at gatormun@gmail.com. I am looking forward to having a
   great committee, and I can’t wait to see you all at GatorMUN XVII!

   Sincerely,
   Mark Merwitzer
   Director of Publix, Where Crisis is a Pleasure
Background Guide Publix,Where Crisis is a Pleasure - GatorMUN
Rules of Procedure                                                  3
Quorum
A majority of voting members answering to the roll at each session shall constitute a quorum for
that session. This means that half plus one of all voting members are physically present. Quorum
will be assumed consistent unless questioned through a Point of Order. Delegates may request
to be noted as “Present” or “Present and Voting.”

ompany any motion for a Moderated Caucus. In a Motion to Set Speaking Time, a delegate may
also specify a number of questions or comments to automatically affix to the Speaking Time.
These designated questions or comments may also have Speaking Time or Response Time (in
the case of a question) limits, but these are not required. The Director may rule any Motion to
Set Speaking Time dilatory. This motion requires a simple majority. Any delegate may make this
motion between formal speakers in an effort to change the Speaking Time.

Motion to Suspend the Rules for the Purpose of a Moderated
Caucus
This motion must include three specifications
 a. Length of the Caucus
 b. Speaking Time, and
 c. Reason for the Caucus
During a moderated caucus, delegates will be called on to speak by the Committee Director.
Delegates will raise their placards to be recognized. Delegates must maintain the same degree
of decorum throughout a Moderated Caucus as in formal debate. This motion requires a simple
majority to pass.

Motion to Suspend the Rules for the Purpose of an
Unmoderated Caucus
This motion must include the length of the Caucus. During an unmoderated caucus, delegates
may get up from their seats and talk amongst themselves. This motion requires a simple majority
to pass. The length of an unmoderated caucus in a Crisis committee should not exceed fifteen
minutes.

Motion to Suspend the Meeting
This motion is in order if there is a scheduled break in debate to be observed. (ie. Lunch!) This
motion requires a simple majority vote. The Committee Director may refuse to entertain this
motion at their discretion.

Motion to Adjourn the Meeting
This motion is in order at the end of the last committee session. It signifies the closing of the
committee until next year’s conference.
Background Guide Publix,Where Crisis is a Pleasure - GatorMUN
4   Points of Order
    Points of Order will only be recognized for the following items:
      a) To recognize errors in voting, tabulation, or procedure,
      b) To question relevance of debate to the current Topic or
      c) To question a quorum.
    A Point of Order may interrupt a speaker if necessary and it is to be used sparingly.

    Points of Inquiry
    When there is no discussion on the floor, a delegate may direct a question to the Committee
    Director. Any question directed to another delegate may only be asked immediately after the
    delegate has finished speaking on a substantive matter. A delegate that declines to respond to a
    question after a formal speech forfeits any further questioning time. The question must conform
    to the following format:
            Delegate from Country A raises placard to be recognized by the Committee Director.
            Committee Director: “To what point do you rise?”
                  Country A: “Point of Inquiry.”
            Committee Director: “State your Point.”
            Country A: “Will the delegate from Country B (who must have just concluded a substantive
    speech) 			                        yield to a question?”
            Committee Director: “Will the Delegate Yield?”
            Country B: “I will” or “I will not” (if not, return to the next business item)
                  Country A asks their question (it must not be a rhetorical question.)
            Country B may choose to respond or to decline.
    If the Delegate from Country B does not yield to or chooses not to answer a question from Coun-
    try A, then he/she yields all remaining questioning time to the Committee Director.

    Points of Personal Privilege
    Points of personal privilege are used to request information or clarification and conduct all other
    business of the body except Motions or Points specifically mentioned in the Rules of Procedure.

    Please note: The Director may refuse to recognize Points of Order, Points of Inquiry or Points of
    Personal Privilege if the Committee Director believes the decorum and restraint inherent in the
    exercise has been violated, or if the point is deemed dilatory in nature.

    Rights of Reply
    At the Committee Director’s discretion, any member nation or observer may be granted a
    Right of Reply to answer serious insults directed at the dignity of the delegate present. The
    Director has the ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY to accept or reject Rights of Reply, and the decision IS
    NOT SUBJECT TO APPEAL. Delegates who feel they are being treated unfairly may take their
    complaint to any member of the Secretariat.

    Directives
    Directives act as a replacement for Draft Resolutions when in Crisis committees, and are the ac-
    tions that the body decides to take as a whole. Directives are not required to contain operative or
    preambulatory clauses. A directive should contain:
       a. The name(s) of the author(s),
       b. A title, and
Background Guide Publix,Where Crisis is a Pleasure - GatorMUN
c. A number of signatories/sponsors signatures’ necessary to introduce, determined by the
Director
                                                                                                     5
A simple majority vote is required to introduce a directive, and multiple directives may be intro-
duced at once. Press releases produced on behalf of the body must also be voted on as Direc-
tives.

Friendly Amendments
Friendly Amendments are any changes to a formally introduced Directive that all Sponsors
agree to in writing. The Committee Director must approve the Friendly Amendment and confirm
each Sponsor’s agreement both verbally and in writing.

Unfriendly Amendments
Unfriendly Amendments are any substantive changes to a formally introduced Directive that are
not agreed to by all of the Sponsors of the Directive. In order to introduce an Unfriendly Amend-
ment, the Unfriendly Amendment must the number equivalent to 1/3 of Quorum confirmed
signatories. The Committee Director has the authority to discern between substantive and non-
substantive Unfriendly amendment proposals.

Plagiarism
GatorMUN maintains a zero-tolerance policy in regards to plagiarism. Delegates found to have
used the ideas of others without properly citing those individuals, organizations, or documents
will have their credentials revoked for the duration of the GatorMUN conference. This is a very
serious offense.

Crisis Notes
A crisis note is an action taken by an individual in a Crisis committee. Crisis notes do not need
to be introduced or voted on, and should be given to the Crisis Staff by sending the notes to a
designated pickup point in each room. A crisis note should both be addressed to crisis and have
the delegate’s position on both the inside and outside of the note.

Motion to Enter Voting Procedure
Once this motion passes, and the committee enters Voting Procedure, no occupants of the com-
mittee room may exit the Committee Room, and no individual may enter the Committee Room
from the outside. A member of the Dias will secure all doors.

•   No talking, passing notes, or communicating of any kind will be tolerated during voting pro-
    cedures.
•   Each Directive will be read to the body and voted upon in the order which they were intro-
    duced. Any Proposed Unfriendly Amendments to each Directive will be read to the body and
    voted upon before the main body of the Directive as a whole is put to a vote.
•   Delegates who requested to be noted as “Present and Voting” are unable to abstain during
    voting procedure. Abstentions will not be counted in the tallying of a majority. For example,
    5 yes votes, 4 no votes, and 7 abstentions means that the Directive passes.
•   The Committee will adopt Directives and Unfriendly Amendments to Directives if these docu-
    ments pass with a simple majority. Specialized committees should refer to their background-
    guides or Committee Directors for information concerning specific voting procedures.
Background Guide Publix,Where Crisis is a Pleasure - GatorMUN
6   Roll Call Voting
    A counted placard vote will be considered sufficient unless any delegate to the committee mo-
    tions for a Roll Call Vote. If a Roll Call Vote is requested, the committee must comply. All dele-
    gates must vote: “For,” “Against,” “Abstain,” or “Pass.”

    During a Roll Call vote, any delegate who answers, “Pass,” reserves his/her vote until the Commit-
    tee Director has exhausted the Roll. However, once the Committee Director returns to “Passing”
    Delegates, they must vote: “For” or “Against.”

    Accepting by Acclamation
    This motion may be stated when the Committee Director asks for points or motions. If a Roll Call Vote is
    requested, the motion to Accept by Acclamation is voided. If a delegate believes a Directive will pass without
    opposition, he or she may move to accept the Directive by acclamation. The motion passes unless a single dele-
    gate shows opposition. An abstention is not considered opposition. Should the motion fail, the committee will
    move directly into a Roll Call Vote.
Background Guide Publix,Where Crisis is a Pleasure - GatorMUN
The Basics of Business and Economics                                                   7
Before we get into the specifics about Publix as a company, I would like to explain the basics of
running a business. The root of all business is identifying a need in society and putting some-
thing on the market to fulfill that need. In other words, a business is an entity that provides
goods and services typically profitable for all parties involved.

Economics
                                      When a business seeks to identify a problem in our
                                      society, there are multiple components that need to be
                                      identified. First and foremost, a business must see that
                                      there are enough people willing to pay enough money
                                      in order to fix that problem (demand). Demand in a
                                      buyer comes from one of these three things: the solu-
                                      tion to their problem provides value, it makes the buyer
                                      money, or the solution to their problem increases their
                                      happiness. On the other side of demand is the supply to
                                      meet that demand. Supply is the amount of something
                                      available from a willing producer in a given time period.
                                      When an item is purchased in society, there is a trade-off
                                      where someone gives up something to get something.
                                      In a world where everyone is seeking to maximize profit,
                                      the price (trade-off) of an item is determined when there
is a balance between the supply and demand of an item. The primary trade-off of a household is
a budget; the maximum a person can spend on a good. There are a plethora of things that
influence both supply and demand. For example, a drought could cause the supply of corn to
decrease, causing a price increase.

The main area where businesses make money in that trade-off is by purchasing large quantities
of items at a lower price, then turning around
and selling that item individually for more. For
example, let’s say Fred has a problem of being
out of bread, and he wants some toast. Now he
can either try to grow the wheat in his backyard,
cultivate the crop, and process the flour to make
bread, or he can just run to the store to grab a
loaf of bread. The reason why it would be benefi-
cial for Fred to go to Publix to buy the bread
(among other reasons) rather than grow it him-
self is economies of scale. Economies of scale
means that the more production there is of an
item, the less costly it will be to produce the
item. In other words, a farm that has millions of
barrels of wheat can afford to sell bread for
much cheaper than if Fred were to grow it himself. The biggest takeaway from this is that the
bigger the business, the more the cost-savings. However, Publix can only put so much bread in
their store before they run out of space for other goods, or make the price of bread so low that it
becomes impossible for them to profit from selling loaves of bread.
8
    Retailing in Brick and Mortar Stores: The Core of Publix
    “Simply stated, the philosophy of Publix is to run a better supermarket than our competitors.
    This was the primary reason why I founded Publix back in 1930.”
    -Mr. George

    Publix is what is defined as a “brick and mortar” store. While the term has a negative connotation
    in business these days since Amazon is becoming an online mega-giant, all brick and mortar
    means is a traditional place where goods are exchanged face-to-face. The reasoning why compa-
    nies like Publix are still doing very well in an era with massive online business growth is because
    Publix provides the opportunity for customers to browse and inquire items. The primary reason
    why customers shop at Publix is because customer service is at the core of their business mod-
    el. In addition to customer service, being a brick and mortar store provides customers with the
    opportunity to get instant gratification for purchases. If someone wants a gallon of milk, are they
    going to wait two days for it to show up at their doorstep or go to the store? With that said, the
    rise of e-commerce has had an effect on Publix. Today, customers can shop for their groceries
    online using Instacart and have them delivered to their house within hours.

    The key takeaway here is that if a brick and mortar store wants to survive, the company must find
    ways to adapt to emerging technologies, market themselves well, and continue to provide excel-
    lent customer service to their consumers.
General Historical Background of Publix                                                  9
                                              Publix originated from very humble foundings. Mr.
                                              George W. Jenkins founded his first store in Winter
                                              Haven, Florida, in 1935. At the time, the store was
                                              only 3,000 square feet and grossed $120,000 in
                                              sales annually. Eventually, Mr. George opened a
                                              second store down the street which also ended up
                                              being successful, despite the great depression. In
                                              1940, Mr. George closed down the stores to create
                                              the very first Publix Supermarket. The store was one
                                              of the first to have air conditioning, speakers to
                                              play music, air conditioning (huge back then), and
                                              refrigerated sections. Unfortunately, during World
War II there were shortages, preventing him from building more stores. Mr. George was beloved
by his employees, and that affection carried over to his nickname “Mr. George”. In the early
1950s, he opened his first warehouse and continued to expand the company throughout Flori-
da. The company moved its headquarters to Lakeland, Florida and bought out the All American
stores, replacing them with Publix. A few years later in 1956, Publix hit $1,000,000 in profit and
over $50,000,000 in sales. With these profits, the expansion continued throughout Central
Florida.

Eventually, the company continued to expand and opened its first store in Miami in 1959, bring-
ing with it its culture of customer service and modern amenities. In 1963, Publix opened a distri-
bution center in Miami and began deli services. The rapid growth continued, and in 1974, sales
hit $1,000,000,000. The chain then expanded to the Jacksonville area around the same time.
In 1979, Publix hit $2 billion in sales and had 234 stores employing 26,000 people. Publix was
a market leader in Daytona Beach, Palm Beach, and St. Petersburg, where owned 30.6 percent
of the grocery market. It was the second largest chain in the Miami area, with 26 percent of the
market. All Publix stores were designed similarly inside and included in-store delis and bakeries.
Publix supermarkets also took advantage of technological advances by using the second largest
number of price scanners of any business in the United States.

1980s Explosive Growth
By 1980, Publix dominated the Florida market, except for the rural panhandle area. A large part
of Publix’s expansion had to do with its investments
in advertising. Publix spent about .75% of sales on
advertising, which was about $15 million in 1980.
In-store merchandising displays were highly theatri-
cal and changed with the weekly sales. The in-store
ads were created by employees without direction
from the Publix central office since Jenkins believed
that store managers best knew what would work in
their own territories.

During the 1980s, America saw a large growth in
household credit and debit cards. To respond to
this growing trend, Publix launched Presto! an ATM network which eventually made its way to
10   being installed at every store, long before many banks installed ATMs. The firm was also one of
     the first to use scanners in its stores, which helped to ease the checkout process. Sales for the
     entire chain in 1985 reached $3,200,000,000, a growth of over $500 million from 1983, making
     Publix the ninth largest grocery chain by sales nationally.

     Another trend in the 1980s was the emergence of superstores. In the 80s, Publix also began
     opening superstores to compete with this trend. In 1986, Publix opened its first store with a phar-
     macy, where customers can shop and get prescriptions, and two more in the Tampa and Tamarac
     areas, in addition to three more in other parts of Florida. Publix also remodeled and expanded
     old supermarkets and opened new ones as well. Publix continued to open many new stores, of-
     ten putting them in cities before the rapid population growth of Florida arrived.

     The 1990s and 2000s
     The 1990s saw many challenges for the company. The founder, Mr. George, suffered a stroke in
     1990 and retired soon after. He was
     replaced by his son, Howard, who started
     at the company in a lower-level position.
     Publix has a history of only promoting
     within and not hiring outside manage-
     ment. This type of promoting method is
     thought to strengthen the company’s
     culture, and it allows for companies to
     grow their workforce from within and
     rewards employees who are seen as
     good leaders. The promotions also make
     it possible for someone in the manage-
     ment to know exactly what it is like on the
     other end of their leadership, and is thus
     more adaptive to their environment.
     Most importantly, it makes the company
     more adept to reward loyalty within the company.

     In 1990, Publix was also planning on building a massive store 80 miles south of Savannah,
     Georgia, and afterwards built aggressively around the greater Atlanta area. By 1994, Publix had
     gained around 10% of the grocery market, only behind Kroger and Winn-Dixie, whose market
     shares fell due to Publix’s performance. In 1995, Publix built a massive three million-square-foot
     distribution center in Lawrenceville, Georgia, with its own milk plant. By the time Publix was done
     building in Atlanta, it had 34 stores built from scratch in the city.

     Being the largest employee-owned company in the world, many employees have purchased
     shares of the company’s stocks, allowing for employees to have a direct stake in the company’s
     success. In 1993, Publix was for the first time listed as one of the top ten companies to work for
     by the publication The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. This recognition did free Pub-
     lix of many of its issues, but many labor, racial advancement, and feminist groups accused Publix
     of discrimination in its hiring practices. The groups threatened a boycott if Publix did not remedy
     their concerns and hire more women and people of color. During the same year, the Equal Em-
     ployment Opportunity Commission demanded Publix audit their management numbers. In ad-
     dition to these practices, Publix agreed to pay a $500,000 fine after the Labor Department found
minors working too many hours and during prohibited times in 11 of their stores. After paying
that fine, Publix takes minor labor laws extremely seriously and has addressed those concerns.
                                                                                                        11
Despite these legal challenges, Publix continued to expand to South Carolina and eventually
became the 7th largest grocery chain in the nation. Yet after this growth, 1994 saw a downtrend
in retail sales and Publix as a result suffered. At around this time, Publix opened its 500th store.
In 1995, the EEOC joined in a massive class action discrimination lawsuit. In 1996, a judge ruled
to allow the case to proceed as a class-action suit, expanding the field of possible litigants to
120,000 current or former workers and making it the largest sex discrimination case in US his-
tory. Publix settled the class-action lawsuit in 1997, and paid over $81.5 million, the fourth larg-
est settlement in US history for this type of demeanor, creating a major blow to Publix’s profits.
Publix also paid a $3.5 million fine to the EEOC over accusations that it had denied job opportu-
nities to people of color. There were also two related lawsuits that were filed at the time due to
similar practices.

Regardless of their past indiscretions, Publix is ranked one of the best stores in customer service
and places to work in the United States. The company offers generous benefits to its full-time
employees and has addressed many of the issues that faced the company over the years.
The 2000s saw the company expand into its fifth state and roll out programs like aprons cook-
ing, a Spanish Publix called Sabor, and liquor stores. In 2005, sales hit over $20,000,000 and, in
2006, the chain opened its 1,000th store.

                                                    Today the company is currently expanding
                                                    into the Virginia and North Carolina markets,
                                                    with just a few stores currently in each.
                                                    Publix continues to be ranked among the
                                                    best companies in the industry, the nation,
                                                    and the world. Despite this rapid growth,
                                                    Publix has been one of the biggest targets
                                                    of gun control advocates like David Hogg,
                                                    for the companies generous monetary
                                                    support to the Adam Putnam campaign. In
                                                    addition, Publix is the biggest supporter of
                                                    the Florida Retail Federation, which is one of
                                                    the largest interest groups in state politics,
along with a strong foothold in Washington, DC Publix is one of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best
Companies To Work For” since the list’s inception and a BusinessWeek Top 25 Customer Service
champ. In addition, Publix has been recognized for its sustainability efforts and community
involvement. Publix regularly raises money for various charities in its stores, including the Special
Olympics, March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, United Way, and local food banks.
12                    Current Services and Partnerships
     Aprons Cooking
     Publix Aprons is a cooking school located in 11 different locations. The program engages cus-
     tomers and teaches them easy-to-make dishes, with all the ingredients needed within the store.
     In addition to the 11 different large-scale school locations, Publix offers recipes to their custom-
     ers online and often samples these recipes in store. Not only does this help the company boost
     in-store sales through the promotion of various ingredients, but the
     program also allows Publix to compete with other companies who
     sample food in their stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club.

     Aprons Event Planning
     Aprons event planning is an in-store catering service which allows
     customers to order event items and have Publix fulfill their needs.
     The event planning service currently has limited availability, but it has proven to be successful.
     Essentially, it is the one-stop shop for events since Publix is able to supply fresh produce, deli,
     and other grocery items through this service. Aprons Event Planning gives customers the option
     to have all of their goods transported directly to their event, which help to increase the conve-
     nience, competitiveness, and cost effectiveness.

     Greenwise Market
     In response to the growing demand for organic and sustainable foods, Publix opened up a store
     with health-conscious foods. Much like Whole Foods, Greenwise stores include hotbars and
     salad bars, all with healthy items. While this store currently targets the younger market, it is not
     nearly close to fully tapping into the market potential
     of the kombucha thirsty and avocado-toast-loving
     millennials. The subsidiary also offers a rewards pro-
     gram called GreenWise Rewards. Members receive
     personalized deals, invitations to in-store events, and
     other benefits. The market also offers a Market Good
     program where Greenwise will donate to a local
     charity whenever a participating customer checks out,
     similar to Amazon Smile. The Market Good Program is
     utilized for tax purposes, lowering the company’s tax
     bill. The purpose of these rewards programs incentives patrons to visit the store more frequently.

     Greenwise Brand Items
     Even though Publix offers completely organic stores in certain areas, the company also offers
     Greenwise products in every store. Greenwise products are essentially the generic brand of a
     product, but organic. Being both organic and generic offers the best of both worlds customers in
     terms of price and health, creating a competitive advantage compared to other retailers.
13
Publix Sabor
Publix currently owns seven Latin-oriented stores named Publix Sabor (sabor means flavor in
spanish). These stores have bilingual employees
and operate mainly in the hispanic communities of
the Greater Miami Area. To accommodate for the
deeply hispanic culture, the stores offer open-seat-
ing cafés, and a wider selection of prepared food
from the deli and bakery with Hispanic flavors.
Despite catering to a major population segment of
the southeastern United States, the store faces
fierce competition. In Miami, Sabor is competing
directly against Sedanos, an extremely well-ground-
ed grocery chain. Due to this tough competition, if
the company wishes to expand the hispanic brand, it must find a way to simultaneously innovate
and appeal to hispanic culture.

Pharmacy
Approximately 90% of Publix stores have a pharmacy and they are consistently ranked num-
ber one in customer satisfaction. Currently, Publix offers various drugs and services for free as
long as they have a prescription, which allows the company to serve more people, especially
the elderly, and bring them into the store to take advantage of this opportunity. Every free pre-
scription that Publix offers is in quantities of 14 days for antibiotics and 90 days for maintenance
medications, making it so customers come into the store every time they need a refill. In addi-
tion, only generic drugs are offered on the free list, making the cost of these drugs to purchase
extremely low. Tax incentives make pharmacies at Publix crucial to the company’s business
model, and enables the company to serve the elderly population. To date, Florida is one of the
largest retirement states in the country with seniors make up 23% of the population. A bonus to
profiting off of the drug sales is that Publix gets customers to shop in the store when they go to
pick up prescriptions.

Instacart
Instacart is an online delivery service for groceries that is currently offered at 90% of locations.
Currently, grocery delivery accounts for 3% of total grocery customers. Only 25% of consumers
have tried online delivery, and only 26% of them said they use
the service more than once a month. Instead of shopping online,
most customers go to the store multiple times a week. While the
industry of grocery delivery is not mature, the delivery service
will be essential to the company’s growth in the 21st century.

In addition to industrial challenges, Instacart faced a $4.6 mil-
lion lawsuit due to falsely calling their employees “independent
contractors,” in an effort to pay them less and be subject to less
labor laws. In 2017, workers of Instacart alleged that the com-
pany paid them wages as low as $1 an hour. Due to numerous
14   controversies facing the company, Instacart agreed to revise its pay system and give back pay to
     workers in February of 2018. All of these challenges are a detriment to Publix’s delivery expan-
     sion and need to be addressed.

     Publix Liquors
     Publix liquors is generally attached to the main grocery market and includes wines, spirits, beers,
     and accessories. Publix liquors is currently in 250 different loca-
     tions and continues to expand to this day. The liquor business
     faces much less competition than the standard grocery business,
     since a license is required to sell it. Profit margins are also higher,
     ranging from 75 to 80 percent. Despite the not-so-competitive
     market and higher profits, liquor stores are often the target of
     shoplifters, robberies, and other major crimes.

     Starbucks
     The first Starbucks to open within Publix stores was in 2017 and
                                           the franchise has expand-
                                           ed to over 25 stores since. Starbucks serves customers
                                           drinks, breakfast sandwhiches, and pastries. The largest
                                           challenge to opening up more Starbucks stores is the lack
                                           of availability of space in many stores. However, the com-
                                           mittee will have to get creative as to finding space in new
                                           stores to put these shops if needed. Having Starbucks in
                                           stores will be essential to attracting the next generation and
                                           also keeps customers in the store if they choose to utilize
                                           the cafe.
Laws Affecting Retail                                                   15
The most considerable law affecting the retail market is taxes. Generally, retailers pay the high-
est corporate tax rate in the nation because the limited amount tax loopholes and decentralized
lobbying in Washington, DC The biggest challenge to Publix’s national agenda is the lack of a
                                                                     retail coalition in DC that
                                                                     would serve as the active
                                                                     voice of retailers across
                                                                     the nation. While there is a
                                                                     Retail Federation in Florida,
                                                                     such an organization does
                                                                     not exist federally. In addi-
                                                                     tion to corporate tax (which
                                                                     was slashed in the Tax Cuts
                                                                     and Job Act), every retail
                                                                     establishment is subject to
                                                                     a wide array of sales and
                                                                     property taxes.

                                                                  Every retailer is also affect-
                                                                  ed by the minimum wage
                                                                  and other New Deal Era
                                                                  laws. The primary regulators
impacting the implementation of these laws is the Department of Labor, Federal Trade Commis-
sion, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Each agency creates a wide network of regulato-
ry challenges to the company’s bottom line.

Statewide, the company is heavily involved in the Florida Retail Federation which advocates for
various pro-retail legislation. The lobbying includes getting online vendors to pay sales tax, void-
ing of local regulations, and expanding pharmacy use beyond current licenses, such as enabling
them to become flu centers. The organization also opposes minimum wage increases and ex-
pansions to regulations.

In Florida and other states primarily in the Southeast, Right to Work Laws are prevalent. Right to
Work laws are state laws that prevent unions from requiring employees to pay unions for repre-
sentation, regardless of whether or not the employee benefits. The law is considered by many
to be extremely anti-union, and it makes it harder for unions to represent workers in bargaining
agreements. Due to this, unions are not nearly as prevalent in Right to Work states.
The bottom line is that the government plays a huge role in determining how business is con-
ducted and can create barriers or opportunities for market entry.
16                                  Powers of the Board
     Any initiatives that require formal company action and affect Publix as a whole will require a di-
     rective. This means that if an initiative requires something beyond your portfolio powers and is a
     broad objective, consent of the board through a directive will be needed. As per usual, portfolio
     powers may be combined to accomplish things in joint crisis notes. District managers may take
     actions in their district that are unique to the rest of the company so long as it is within the realm
     of possibility, legitimate plans that flow well, and the impact does not expand beyond their dis-
     trict.

     Conclusion
     Publix is one of the most iconic brands of the southeastern United States. The company has over
     1,110 stores across six different states, being one of the largest employers in the Southeast. Be-
     ing such a large icon and employer comes with great responsibility to shareholders, customers,
     and government. The committee will face many challenges such as expanding into other states,
     figuring out innovative ways to survive the online tech boom, and curtailing unfriendly business
     regulation. Get ready to make shopping a pleasure and create the best experience for everyone
     involved! See you at the next board meeting in Winter of 2020.
Positions                                                   17
Disclaimer: Characters and events in this committee, while based on real people, are entirely
fictional.

David Phillips: Treasurer
David began his Publix career in 1984 as an internal auditor. He rose through the ranks and in
the late 1990s, he became the treasurer for Publix. He graduated from the University of Virginia
and received a bachelor’s degree in management information systems. As an internal auditor
and treasurer, David is responsible for evaluating how efficiently the company is being run. He
is also responsible for making sure the company follows all financial regulations and does not
commit fraud, embezzlement, or any other criminal actions related to the company’s finances.

Sam Pero: Lakeland and Tampa Bay Area Division Vice President
Sam began his career with Publix in 1977 as a front-service clerk in Miami. During his career, he
has been promoted to various leadership positions until he was finally named the Jacksonville
Division Regional Director. After serving as Jacksonville Regional Director for over 10 years, Sam
became a senior vice president overseeing the Lakeland Division. As the head of this division,
he ensures that all of the stores in the Lakeland area are running smoothly, following corporate
guidelines, and serving customers to the best of their ability. While Sam does not have complete
say over things in his district (reference Power of the Board section for general divisional port-
folio powers), he does have the ability to motivate managers and staff, and find creative ways to
increase sales. In addition to serving as the Lakeland Division vice president, Sam is the director
of the Sarasota 2020 Woodstock festival. He has a fair amount of connections with the music
industry and the leaders of hippy culture, including Jill Stein.

Jessica Blume: Director of Sustainability
Jessica is an extremely experienced veteran in the business world. She graduated from the Uni-
versity of Central Florida in 1980 and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After
college, Jessica was employed at Deloitte, an extremely valuable consulting firm, for over 25
years. Jessica has a strong focus on making companies more sustainable and environmentally
friendly, and she also sits on the board of Centene, a healthcare company based out of St. Louis,
Missouri. She has been a director of Publix since April of 2016.

Bob Betchel: Miami Area Division Vice President
Bob began his career at Publix in 1978 as a front service clerk in Sarasota, Florida. After moving
up at various locations, he became a store manager in 1991. He rose through the leadership
ranks of Publix and currently serves vice president for the Miami division overseeing all manag-
ers and day-to-day operations. While Bob does not have complete say over things in his district
(reference Power of the Board section for general divisional portfolio powers), he does have the
ability to motivate managers and staff, and find creative ways to increase sales. Miami is home
to the highest revenue-generating stores in the company, hosts a market serving almost nine
million people, and is a worldwide tourist attraction. Bob also has connections to many South
American agricultural companies and has ties to the Ecuador government, the largest banana
exporter in the world.
18   Mike Lester: Vice President of Distribution
     Mike was previously the director of warehousing and became the vice president of distribution
     in 2016. He began his career in 1983 as a warehouse selector in Lakeland, and worked in various
     positions before eventually being promoted to director of warehousing in 2014. He ensures that
     all Publix stores throughout the country are regularly supplied with the necessary items needed
     to successfully run the store. He also has strong ties to many Florida farms and the Florida Farm
     Bureau. In his spare time, Mike is a conservative editorial cartoonist and author of children’s
     books that teach kids about business and general conservatism.

     Jennifer Jenkins: Director of Legal Affairs
     Jennifer was not previously employed by Publix prior to accepting the position of director of
     legal affairs, but she is a descendant of Publix’s founder, George Jenkins. Jennifer graduated
     from Duke University in 2006 with a juris doctor degree and became a professor at the University
     of Florida. Jennifer now advises Publix on all of the company’s legal issues and works to defend
     the company in lawsuit cases. She has many connections with top law firms in Florida due to her
     high-ranking member within the bar association. Jennifer is also in charge of making stores less
     prone to tort cases and ensuring that the stores are safe for all customers.

     Laurie Douglas: Senior Vice President of Media Relations
     Laurie is currently a senior vice president, serving as the chief media liaison officer. She joined
     the company in 2006 after serving as senior vice president and chief information officer of FedEx
     Kinko’s Office and Print Center Inc., and, prior to that, vice president of information and e-busi-
     ness technology at Home Depot. Laurie is in charge of media outreach, including handling the
     company’s Twitter, Facebook, and newspaper ads. She also has strong connections with various
     news and production companies to publish TV commercials highlighting Publix’s friendly envi-
     ronment and deals.

     Dave Taulbee: Architect
     Before he joined Publix in 2001, Dave developed prototypes for refrigerated warehouses, corpo-
     rate offices, and government buildings. He earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the
     University of Cincinnati. In his current role, he manages a team of 13 associates, which include
     eight highly-skilled architects. Dave is a crucial factor in determining the design of new stores, es-
     pecially in emerging markets. He has connections with raw material, engineering, and construc-
     tion firms. While he does not personally design every store, Dave has a considerable amount of
     input into how each store looks and how the company interacts with other design firms.

     Vladimir Ali: Director of Information Technology (IT) Application Delivery
     Vlad started working for Publix in 2005 as a systems analyst/programmer. He advanced through
     the roles until he was promoted to his current directorial role in early 2018. Vlad currently over-
     sees Publix’s massive IT infrastructure and ensures that it is secure. This infrastructure includes
     corporate records, point of sale systems, in-store wifi networks, and company computers. While
     we cannot confirm nor deny if Vladimir has Russian connections, he was the head of IT for Clin-
     tonmail email service who managed Secretary Clinton’s email server up until she stopped her
     campaign due to congressional investigation.

     Bridgid O’Connor: Director of Real Estate Strategy
     Bridgid has been with Publix after being hired as a part-time cashier in Dunedin, Florida, in 1998.
     She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from Florida State University, and her
     MBA from the University of Notre Dame. She worked in various aspects of the real estate team,
including assets, operations, and strategy, before being promoted to her current role in 2017.
She oversees the purchase of real estate for the company, in addition to ensuring that the cur-
                                                                                                          19
rent real estate owned by the company is becoming more valuable overtime. Bridgid has many
connections to the alumni networks at both FSU and Notre Dame, and she’s extremely school
spirited from her college days.

Randy Barber: Vice President of Industrial Maintenance and Industrial Operations
Purchasing
Randy joined Publix in 1978 as a front service clerk. In 1982, he transferred to the Lakeland dairy
plant. He held various positions before being promoted to Lakeland dairy plant general manag-
er in 2009, and then to director of industrial maintenance in 2013, and finally to his current role
as vice president this year. Randy ensures that Publix maintains the highest standard in indus-
trial equipment. He has connections with companies like Caterpillar, and has a research team
dedicated to improving Publix’s manufacturing equipment in pursuit of bringing more profits
through automation. Randy also provides industrial equipment to every warehouse and store,
and decides what machinery the company uses and what equipment goes where.

Karen Murino: Director of Brand Marketing and Analytics
Karen Murino joined Publix in 1987 as a part-time cashier in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. In
1994, she became an ad designer in the marketing department. Karen rose through the market-
ing division of the company and was promoted to her current director role in 2008. Karen works
to ensure that all in-store Publix branded items are selling properly and competitive to other
products. Since she analyzes prices and data from other retailers, she has a lot of sway over the
prices of items in store. Karen is also your classic soccer mom who likely wants to talk to your
manager whenever she goes shopping.

Susan Cox: Director of Greenwise Markets
Susan was hired by Publix in 1993 as a stock clerk who quickly rose through the ranks of the
company. She became the manager of the first Greenwise store when it opened in 2008. With
the eventual expansion of the organic Publix store, Susan became the director who oversees
all other Greenwise stores in the chain. While she does not have say over things that must be
approved by the board, Susan does have a lot of control over the day-to-day operations of the
Greenwise stores. She is largely tasked with motivating managers and staff, and finding creative
ways to increase sales in the Greenwise stores. Outside of Publix, Susan is the president of the
West Palm Beach Rotary Club and Miami Chamber of Commerce, which brings businesses to-
gether to promote interbusiness charitable events and synergize business plans with other local
businesses.

Michael Payne: Director of Governmental Affairs
Michael has been representing the interests of Publix in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama legisla-
tures since 2000. He is the son of an incumbent state representative in Florida and has a tremen-
dous sway in state policy in regards to retailing. Michael is the head of the Florida Retail Feder-
ation and works with other retailers around the state to ensure that lawmakers do not legislate
against the interest of Publix. While his creativity in crafting beneficial policy for Publix is one of
his biggest assets to the company, Michael has worked hard to lower taxes, fight pharmacy reg-
ulations, and keep the minimum wage low in the United States. His close connections with the
Adam Putnam for Governor campaign led to the protests of many anti-gun advocates, and his
inner circle is also strong in other legislatures due to his support of GOP campaigns across the
country.
20   Hannah Valdez: Director of Nonprofit Coordination
     Hannah has been with Publix since 2005, and was originally employed as a front-service clerk at a
     store in Savannah, Georgia. Hannah has a great amount of southern pride and strongly believes
     in southern hospitality. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2003 with a bachelor’s
     degree in accounting. Hannah was the president of her sorority, which has many notable busi-
     ness alumni throughout Georgia. Her values of giving back to the community is what drove her
     to getting involved with nonprofits through Publix. She manages the company’s involvement with
     many charities, including United Way, Feeding America, Children’s Miracle Network, and more.
     All of these are essential to keeping Publix’s tax burden low and maintaining an excellent reputa-
     tion in the community it is in. Charity is one of the biggest cores of Publix’s business plan due to
     those factors.

     Louis Hartman: Director of Business Liaison
     Louis joined Publix in 2012 as a member of the business liaison department. Over the years, he
     has gained the respect of the people in the corporate office and rose to the position of director
     in 2017. Louis is currently in charge of making deals with other companies to get new and ex-
     isting products sold in the store. Deals are usually negotiated in bulk and the company works
     with suppliers to ensure that deliveries of items are on time to warehouses. In addition, Louis is
     in charge of coordinating with local and international farms to get produce and meat products
     supplied to the store. To ensure Publix gets the best deals and best quality, Louis maintains close
     relationships with the biggest food companies in the United States, such as Nestle, General Mills,
     and Unilever.

     Kenneth Bryant: Director of Security
     Kenneth is a former Las Vegas police officer who has a background in private security. After serv-
     ing in the Las Vegas police force, he founded the multi-national security firm , Integrity Security.
     In addition to his private firm, he is a nationally renowned police officer who is known for busting
     MS-13 members. After this national recognition in 2016, he became a security officer for Blackwa-
     ter and served in Iraq. He joined Publix in 2018 and is now in charge of over 500 security officers
     who patrol stores, bust shoplifters, and monitor security cameras.

     Toby Flenderson: Director of Human Resources
     After moving on from being the human resources manager at the Scranton branch of Dunder
     Mifflin Paper Company, Toby joined Publix in 2013 as a member of Publix’s corporate human
     resource personnel. During his time at Dunder Mifflin, he was the head of their human resources
     department. Despite his history, Toby oversees the company’s human resource policies and gath-
     ers input from various sources to suggest changes to the board. Toby is also in charge of acquir-
     ing paper for Publix since he has a history in paper management.

     Wendy Lee Gramm: Director of Company Portfolio
     Wendy has sat on the boards of Enron Corporation, Iowa Beef Processors, Invesco Funds, Longi-
     tude, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and State Farm Insurance Companies. She recently joined
     Publix after being head of the Regulatory Studies Program at the Mercatus Center at George
     Mason University, and she is very skilled at guiding investors into reasonable and sound invest-
     ments. Wendy has a close relationship with the Bush family after serving as one of the leaders in
     the oil industry back in the 2000s when George W. Bush was serving as the governor of Texas.
     Due to her investment expertise, Wendy is crucial in managing the company’s $100,000,000 in-
     vestment portfolio for retired associates. One of the main objectives of her job is to find lucrative
     business opportunities around the world to invest in to ensure that Publix remains a responsible
and profitable investor.                                                                           21
Bruce Martin: Consultant at Mckinsey & Co.
Due to the size of Publix, the company has been using consultants to help make crucial busi-
ness decisions since the 1990s. As a consultant, Bruce has access to a private jet, tremendous
amounts of money, and world-class research teams. Bruce is a Harvard graduate with a doctoral
degree in business, and he has close relationships with other Harvard alumni such as Mark Zuck-
erburg and Jared Kushner. Since Bruce works at Mckinsey & Co., he can use the firm to evaluate
management decisions prior to the decisions made at the start of the committee. However, Mck-
insey also consults with other mega corporations and has connections available for Publix’s use,
such as Monsanto, Bactana, and Sangamo.
22                                     Works Cited
     https://www.bain.com/insights/omnichannel-grocery-is-open-for-business-and-ready-to-grow/

     https://www.fooddive.com/news/grocery--instacart-strike-earlier-this-week-had-no-impact-on-
     operations/511521/
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