Baggers, cashiers soon can grow beards at Publix

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The faces of baggers, cashiers and stockers at a Florida-based grocery chain may look slightly different in the near future.

That's because Publix said Friday that it would start allowing workers to grow beards and other facial hair beginning at the end of September.

Spokesman Dwayne Stevens says in a statement that the policy change allows male associates to grow facial hair provided they keep "a neat, clean, and professional appearance."

Stevens says the company has been "testing" the facial hair change in different markets and the new standard will be applied company-wide starting Sept. 29.

The Lakeland, Florida-based company previously only allowed conservative-style mustaches.

The 88-year-old food retailer has almost 1,200 stores in seven states and employs 190,000 workers.

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