Publix’s iconic entrance scales may soon be history


If you’re still hesitant to check your weight on Publix’s iconic scale, you might want to step on the green machine before it’s gone.

These large, historic and industrial looking scales on the front of Publix supermarkets could one day fall into the scrap junkyard of supermarket history as the scale maker stopped making them, a Publix Facebook post recently reported. .

At least one new store that recently joined the Florida grocery chain outlets has opened without the scale. An associate said the new Publix located at the Shoppes of Golf Village near Boynton Beach does not have one.

“The manufacturer ceased production in 2015, which means that one day – although our wonderful repair shop keeps our remaining machines in pristine condition – the last Publix scale will be retiring,” a Facebook post posted on the 19th. August.

The scales, shaped like “lollipops,” have been a staple of the Publix Super Market for 81 years, the publication said. When they first appeared, first at the back of the store and later near the front doors, household scales were bulky and too expensive to own. Most people were weighed in the doctor’s office or Floridians went to Publix to check their weight. Over the years, today’s ladders are now four times the size and more expensive than their original counterpart.

Always the innovator of supermarkets, George Jenkins saw the scarcity of weighing machines as an opportunity to attract customers.

On his blog, The Publix Checkout, another story of the green scales was published in 2016.

When Jenkins “founded Publix in 1930, he was committed to setting Publix apart from the competition by providing service and value to customers in things not seen in other grocery chains like his” food palace “in 1940 equipped with air conditioning, crates of frozen food and many other innovations,” wrote blogger Aijana W.

“However, there is one benefit to shopping in Publix that has been part of the business from the start and still remains to this day: the scales. The difference with Publix scales? It was completely free for our customers, ”the blogger wrote.

In a 1988 interview with Jenkins, the company founder said that the scales “were very popular. Even then, people were aware of their weight. He added, more than 5 million customers have weighed themselves in Publix in the first year of operation.

And it wasn’t just the editors at Publix who carried on the tradition of the 2831 People Weigher from Mettler Toledo, which still manufactures other weighing systems for laboratories, industry and food retail.

In a May 30, 2018 Tampa Bay Times article, the writer noted that these relics from a bygone era have entertained and captivated Floridians and tourists for decades.

Some recalled the childhood weights taken at Publix as milestones.

He added that others liked to publicly announce their lightweight to anyone within earshot. And even visiting non-Floridians enjoyed the novelty during the annual vacation. Others took to Twitter to question the accuracy of the scale after seeing their books displayed on the large round dial.

Spata wrote: “In a 1988 article in the Orlando Sentinel, writer Donna Bouffard, with help from employees at the Winter Park store, identified seven recurring categories of scale users, including ‘pickpockets’. », Which set aside keys, coins and wallets; the “timid”, who go to great lengths to make sure no one is watching; “hoppers”, who leap suddenly; and “mechanics,” who insist this thing has to be broken.

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“They all ring true 30 years later, say employees, with the addition of a category: ‘footloose’, or those who take off their shoes, and sometimes their socks,” writes Spata.

All the fun and pleasant – or unpleasant – memories of scales are not over yet.

The ritual of tipping the big green ladder should remain a tradition for many Publix buyers for some time across Florida. In Publix’s seven-state operating area, only Florida had the balance, and as of September, the Sunshine State had 828 Publix stores, or roughly two-thirds of its outlets in the Southeast.

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Even though many of them become irreparable, the scale at the original Winter Haven store dons Lakeland’s corporate headquarters in a historic display.

Publix representative Brian West told The Times, “For the foreseeable future, they will still be part of our stores in Florida. “

Until they all disappeared except the original, Publix has stored enough parts to keep the old ones on life support for as long as possible – so walk, but walk lightly.


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