Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Skip to the random thought

I've long been singing the praises of Publix as the "best supermarket anywhere". (No, I don't think Piggly Wiggly is the best. It's the most fun, for sure, but let's be honest - it's not the best place to go shopping on a weekly basis.) So, when I went to Jacksonville last weekend, I didn't leave without making a side trip to Publix.

Why is Publix the best? I feel they have the best combination of customer service, prices, selection, and clean appearance. Wegmans has the prices and selection, but not quite the appearance. Harris Teeter has the service and the appearance, but not the prices. Kroger has the prices, but is only "above-average" in the other categories. (Prices vary by store across the country, but these comparisons are based on my experiences with local supermarkets.) So, I was a little surprised when I went to Publix last weekend and noticed the prices. Everything is much more expensive than I remember, and was about the same as (if not more than) the prices at Harris Teeter in Raleigh (Cary). I don't think prices vary by store much within the different Jacksonville Publixes, so I won't chalk it up to a bad location. (I went to the Beach/Kernan Publix, which might be a little more on the pricy end of things, I suppose. But still, my "token items" shouldn't be more expensive than Harris Teeter. $4.29 for a gallon of milk seems to be a bit much.)

Aside from the prices, Publix was as nice as it always has been. Publix even has its own distinct "nice smell". And they still have the best chocolate chip cookies around. And at least they still always put Coke or Pepsi products on sale (even if the 12-pack sales are 3/$11 instead of 3/$8 like they used to be). But now I'm not quite as disappointed that Publix hasn't opened any stores in North Carolina yet.

Last Year: "Triangle Curling Club, Part 2". I was just a "wanna-be curler" back then. It's amazing how far I've come in a year.

Tomorrow: "Chris Allen Industries (CAI)". A topic from the "old days" that has mysteriously been absent from the blog thus far.

Today's random thought:

- On our way to and from Jacksonville, we decided to count all of the billboards for South of the Border (a heavily-advertised tourist trap at the SC/NC border on I-95). The final count: 32 southbound in NC, and 60 northbound in SC. I can think of two possible reasons why there are more northbound than southbound: 1) People are more likely to stop at a place like this on their way back from Florida, not on their way to Florida. 2) Billboards are cheaper and less in-demand in South Carolina than North Carolina. Now, the 32 southbound billboards doesn't count any north of the I-40 interchange on I-95, but I doubt there are more than 5 further up in the state, since the billboards increase in frequency as you approach the place, although the first northbound billboard we saw was 180 miles away. Now, 60 billboards sounds like a lot, but next time we're going to count the billboards for JR Outlets, because they might have South of the Border beat.

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