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The Lakeland Ledger reports that Publix Super Markets “appears to be battling its high-price reputation with a new effort to cut prices on staple items,” with what are being termed ”dramatically lowered” prices for items such as milk.

While the company doesn’t address the overarching strategy, spokeswoman Shannon Patten does say, "We understand that people are feeling the crunch of the economy and we are always trying to find ways to save customers money. So what you will see is we've lowered prices on items that customers use the most.”

In addition, the Ledger notes, Publix has been increasing its “buy one, get one free” promotions.

“The new strategies are somewhat of a departure for Lakeland-based Publix, which has largely built its reputation on customer service and clean, attractive stores rather than sharp discounts,” the Ledger writes, adding that the entry of discounter Aldi into the Florida market, plus the trend by some shoppers to “trade down” to Walmart during times of economic stress, has forced Publix to adjust its approach so as not to lose market share in a state that it has dominated for decades.

KC's View:
Nothing wrong with being flexible…as long as you don't lose touch with core values and dilute your primary branding message. There isn’t any sign that Publix is in danger of making these mistakes…though it is something about which the chain must remain vigilant.