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Thread: Piggly Wiggly closing

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    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Piggly Wiggly closing

    Lewisville shoppers mourn loss of Piggly Wiggly (The Dallas Morning News)
    LEWISVILLE – The neighborhood Piggly Wiggly in Lewisville's Old Town closed last week after more than 40 years in the city.
    To many – especially in the South – Piggly Wiggly has always been more than a store with a funny name. Its creation revolutionized how Americans buy groceries. And in the 90 years it's been around, the Pig has wiggled its way into Southern culture and become an emblem of small-town life.
    Memphis entrepreneur Clarence Saunders opened the first Piggly Wiggly in 1916, and it was an immediate success. Back then, people would hand clerks their lists and the employees would pull groceries from shelves behind a counter.
    But Mr. Saunders envisioned a self-service approach. In his stores, customers walked through a turnstile and down four aisles where they picked out their own merchandise. The way the stores were designed, everyone had to walk by all the merchandise before they got to the checkout stands, which were also a new idea.
    "This, of course, encouraged impulse buying," Mr. Brister said.
    It also led manufactures to start thinking about their packaging, since customers were for the first time pulling things off the shelf for themselves. The approach brought down operational costs, since fewer clerks were required, people paid cash instead of maintaining store accounts, and the store didn't deliver the groceries to people's homes.
    Number of stores: About 600 in 16 states
    Questions:
    1. For those of you south of the Mason-Dixon, is Piggly Wiggly still part of Southern culture?
    2. Would you prefer to grocery shop the old way, where clerks got the items on your list?
    3. Is impulse buying at the grocery store a problem in your budget? Would you prefer an environment less teeming with temptation?

    Please comment.
    JOE ILIFF
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    The south??? 'The Pig' has been a part of the scene here in eastern Wisconsin for as long as I can remember. And they're still going as strongly as ever, too.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Growing up in New Orleans, I remember the Piggly Wiggly. We used to pass it every school day. Yet, we didn't shop there. My mom shopped at a corner grocery near our house. Mr Fournet was an old-school butcher-grocer. Had a missing finger, so you knew he had to be a great butcher.

    But I do remember the pink smiling pig mascot of the Piggly Wiggly.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    otterpop - where was that Piggly Wiggly? I never saw one until I visited family in Mississippi. When I finally did see them in the metro N.O. area, they were on the westbank, and have since changed ownership in recent years.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    My Memphis relatives pass by the Piggy Wiggly for the glamorous new Kroger.
    When I took my fiance to Memphis the first she got excited when she saw a Pggly Wiggly (I guess it was in a movie she has seen).

    I've been in a couple of them in my lifetime, nothing special for me but it was a funny name and I guess I do associate them with being in the South. (I did not know they were in Wisconsin)

    Off-topic:
    Is Winn Dixie still operating?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Joe Iliff View post
    Questions:
    1. For those of you south of the Mason-Dixon, is Piggly Wiggly still part of Southern culture?
    2. Would you prefer to grocery shop the old way, where clerks got the items on your list?
    3. Is impulse buying at the grocery store a problem in your budget? Would you prefer an environment less teeming with temptation?

    Please comment.
    1. Piggly Wiggly is no longer in Atlanta. It left the metro market scene about 5 years ago.

    2. No, I llike doing it myself.

    3. I am not that much of an impulse buyer so I do a good job of sticking to my list.
    Satellite City Enabler

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    The Piggy Wiggly nearest to me (SE Wisconsin) recently closed. The store was about 22,000 square feet and functionally obsolete compared to the competitors' newer 60,000+ stores.

  8. #8
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post

    Off-topic:
    Is Winn Dixie still operating?
    Yes; they operate a big distribution center just west of Jacksonville FL. However, I think they're in Chapter 11.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I had never seen a piggly wiggly, and thought they were only a southern establishment, until I started working here in southern wisconsin, where we've got three in the county, each serving as the only grocery stores in small, but thriving, cities. I don't think these piggly wigglies will be closing any time soon.

    I would definitely not want clerks to retrieve items on the list, the way it originally was done. I like to inspect my food, packaging, expiration, etc.

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella View post
    otterpop - where was that Piggly Wiggly? I never saw one until I visited family in Mississippi. When I finally did see them in the metro N.O. area, they were on the westbank, and have since changed ownership in recent years.

    It has been a while back. Late 60's. And maybe I am totally off base but I think it was on St. Charles Avenue, between Main Street and General Pershing. There was a K&B on Napolean Ave and St. Charles, and the Piggly Wiggly was about a block or two towards downtown on St. Charles.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I don't recall seeing Piggy Wigglys in Florida, but have seen, and shopped in, them on trips to other states. They seemed to be pretty much in smaller towns.

    And ZMan, we still have Winn Dixies here but a number of them in our area closed in the last year. However, I am now at my desk drinking a Diet Chek (their store brand) grape soda; yum!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    In case anyone is wondering, their stores are all here.

    (note the big isolated glop on that map in eastern Wisconsin and extending into far northern Illinois.)

    Enjoy!

    Mike

  14. #14
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Off-topic:
    Holy Moses, Dan - did you look at the fat % on those kosher foods? It's amazing there are any jewish people left over the age of 45 who have not succumbed to a massive coronary!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  15. #15

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    The quality of "The Pig" has gone down hill here in Memphis in recent years. I no longer shop there. I find them to be dirty, smelly and genreally more expensive. They have been closing here over the years and I think they will eventually be all gone.

    off topic - worst product on "The Pig" shelves.. "Pork Brains in Milk Jelly" mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    btw, you can see a repleca of the first Piggly Wiggly in the Pink Palace Museum here in Memphis. It is cool to see. The Pink Palace was Clarence Saunders dream mansion which he built out of a slightly pink stone. He lost it to foreclosure when his business deals went south. The city now owns the proprty and has made it a museum with an Imax and other cool exhibits.

    I use a list, so very few impluse buys. I have used internet grocery shopping and delivery services before (kind of like clerks getting things off of the shelves) and would use it again if available.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Memphis View post
    btw, you can see a repleca of the first Piggly Wiggly in the Pink Palace Museum here in Memphis. It is cool to see. The Pink Palace was Clarence Saunders dream mansion which he built out of a slightly pink stone. He lost it to foreclosure when his business deals went south. The city now owns the proprty and has made it a museum with an Imax and other cool exhibits.
    YES! I was going to mention something about seeing a replica Piggly Wiggly when I was younger at some museum in Memphis, but I couldn't remember anything. That was it. As soon as I read Pink Palace the memories all came back. Fun times.

    Thanks, Memphis.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    1. There is a Piggly Wiggly in my undergraduate college town. Although it's still in business I think it is limping by. I've been there a couple of times but it's run down, the meat and produce have a lot to be desired for, and the help is of the Wal Mart variety. Mostly black people shop there but that could be due to the proximity of the more heavily black area of town.

    2. I like to browse and look at stuff for new things to try. Also I am a big label junkie so having someone collect the items on my list probably wouldn't work too well.

    3. I usually plan out what we will be eating for the upcoming week and make the list accordingly (shoestring budget here) but if I see something interesting to try I will swap it with a planned meal if it's cost is the same.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    The "Pig" in my area just closed down a year ago. It's since been replaced with a different grocer, and Chicago's most famous grocer (Jewel) constructed a new grocery store across the street from this site.

    Piggly Wiggly is a cool store, and as mgk920 said, it's pretty big in Wisconsin. But it's not big at all in Chicagoland, so it's loss wasn't devastating, especially as it was replaced by a similar grocer quite quickly.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  20. #20
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    In Wisconsin and some other markets, the Pig's strategy is mostly to construct small-ish (40,000 square foot) stores in markets without much competition. There have been a number of stores closed around here recently because as soon as a larger grocery comes in, they have a difficult time competing.

    Winn-Dixie is still around and charting a course to come out of Chapter 11. They will be gone in 3-4 years. Winn-Dixie continues to follow antiquated methods in stocking and managing its stores. Hurricane Katrina impacted many of its store, and rather than deal with it, the company took the opportunity to pull out of many parts of its market. These were profitable stores that it abandoned. Instead of returning to profitable stores and building strong customer loyalty by being the good corporate citizen, they ran.

    Consumer research points out that one of the only instances in which people interact with grocery store employees is at the checkout. How well do groceries do with this precious opportunity to build rapport with the customer? Checking out is consistently rated the worst experience of grocery shopping. No, I don't think I want clerks to fill my order.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    While attending high school back in Michigan, I remember a new girl named Tania who had just moved to my town from rural Georgia. The geographer in me was curious about life in the south. When she told me she shopped for groceries at a place called "The Pig", I about died of laughter. I have grown used to the name now that I frequent my fiances family in southeast Wisconsin which contains a local "Pig".

  22. #22
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    My first "Pig" experience was on vacation in Sister Bay (Door County) WI. My wife and I laughed our a$$es off and can't say Piggly Wiggly without the same result.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TOFB View post
    My first "Pig" experience was on vacation in Sister Bay (Door County) WI. My wife and I laughed our a$$es off and can't say Piggly Wiggly without the same result.
    Hey, me too! I think that's actually the only Piggly Wiggly I've ever been inside of.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

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    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    Growing up in South Carolina, Piggly Wiggly, Winn Dixie & Bi-Lo were the staple grocery stores anywhere you went. By the 90's, also by the time I left the state other chains made their way into the state & those chains became more scarce.

    But my dad grew up in the 40's & 50's with a Piggly Wiggly in his hometown of Inman - it was a big deal for a small town.

  25. #25
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by teshadoh View post
    Growing up in South Carolina, Piggly Wiggly, Winn Dixie & Bi-Lo were the staple grocery stores anywhere you went. By the 90's, also by the time I left the state other chains made their way into the state & those chains became more scarce.

    But my dad grew up in the 40's & 50's with a Piggly Wiggly in his hometown of Inman - it was a big deal for a small town.
    Bi-Lo is still running strong although the holding company Ahold sold it to someone else recently. Winn Dixie closed all of it's South Carolina stores about 6 months ago leaving a bunch of vacant properties. There aren't very many Piggly Wiggly's left.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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