Several people have commented that they don't have a problem with the changes and they really don't see what the big deal is. Let me see if I can explain why I am so upset by the limits.
1. This new policy really affects two groups of people.
First are the people who are limited in their shopping trips that may live in rural areas, or only have one vehicle in their family, or have a large family and can't drag them all to the store 5 times a week. These people are limited in the trips they can make to the store and can't go running all over the place to do their shopping.
Second are people who stockpile and extreme coupon. This group of people buy large quantities of items when they are on sale so they don't have to buy items at full price when they need it.
Let's look at these two groups. Ironically, these are the groups that Publix has been targeting recently with all their new marketing (seen those billboards that say "publix.com/bogo" ? Yeah.) What Publix is really known for is their high prices. They have recently spent a lot of marketing money trying to target people trying to save money- and these people are exactly the groups they will run right back out the door by limiting deals. These are the people who are bulk buying and using a lot of coupons buying sale items. These are the people who were previously shopping at Super-Wal-Mart and Aldi's, Sam's and Costco trying to save money.
From a business standpoint, Publix is shooting themselves in the foot.
2. Publix stores do not have a loyalty card. This means they don't have the ability to enforce the limits like a Harris Teeter does. A shopper could easily go to four different stores to buy all the limits at each store to get the bulk that they want...if they have the time and inclination to go to four other stores. This also means that if the whole point of this is to try to prevent shelf clearing (which I'm not totally convinced IS the point, but I'll know more when I speak to the DM), it won't work. Let me show you a scenario.
Kraft dressing is bogo. Sue and Janet both want to buy 20 bottles of dressing, but their store will only let them buy 12 each. Both of these ladies live near Store A and Store B. Sue normally shops at Store A and Janet normally shops at Store B.
Prior to the new limits, Sue would have bought her 20 bottles at Store A along with the rest of her items, likewise, Janet would have bought her 20 bottles at Store B, leaving each store out 20 bottles.
But they can't do that now, and they both really want 20 bottles of dressing. So instead of each of them buying their 20 bottles at one store each, now Sue goes to Store A, buys 10 bottles, then heads over to Store B to buy the other ten.
Janet, when she goes out, goes to Store B, buys her ten bottles, then makes the trip to Store A to get the other ten.
Guess what the outcome is? Yes, the same as before, both stores are out 20 bottles.
Only now, both Sue and Janet are a little frustrated because they had to take an extra hour out of their day to get the items they wanted and should have been able to buy in one stop.
The stores are still in the same situation and all they have done is frustrated their customers.
So it simply doesn't make sense. Because eventually, the customers are going to tire of the shenanigans and just run to Super Wal-Mart, or one of the myriad other stores that have lower prices.
3. Sure, the store has the right to make these changes and I have the right to shop elsewhere. My intention in posting the contact info, and saying that if these new policies upset you to contact them, is that the only way changes get made is by retailers/businesses hearing from consumers. If we just take it and go on then nothing will change. In telling them that their new policies could cause me to shop elsewhere, I am informing the store that they are perhaps not making as good of a decision as they thought, especially if dozens of people call to complain.
4. The customer can still get "around" the limits by going to multiple stores, but for people like me, who drive two hours to shop at Publix, I don't have the luxury of being able to shop at multiple stores or on multiple days. I shop one day at one store. So this limit really hurts me. Once it stops being worth the gas money I spend to get there I will no longer shop there. I am not the only one.
5. If I want to get more than the limit of an item, I have to explain why to a manager and see if it's ok. I shouldn't have to defend my need to purchase an item to my local grocery store. It's invasive. I should be able to walk into the store, buy what I need and go on with my day.
**I will be approving comments from Nashville-local shoppers for this post as it doesn't apply to other areas. Thanks.