You can’t go far in the South or Midwest without running into a Piggly Wiggly or two. You can find just about everything inside these grocery stores from cheese to bubble gum. As popular as they are, you may not know everything about the popular chain.
1. It’s America’s first true self-service grocery store.
Before Piggly Wiggly opened in 1916 in Memphis, Tenn., you basically weren’t able to do your own shopping. The brand revolutionized the shopping experience by putting the power in the hands of the consumer. Surprisingly, a lot of people didn’t think this idea would catch on, but look at where we are today.
2. The name is a mystery.
No one really knows why the original owner of the store chose the name Piggly Wiggly. There are a lot of rumors about its origin, but the real story behind the name remains a mystery.
3. They were pioneers in grocery shopping.
Along with being the first self-serve grocery store, Piggly Wiggly pioneered a number of things we take for granted today. They were the first to have checkout stands and refrigerated cases. They even patented their machinery and were the first store to put employees in uniforms. Their most interesting first-ever regards merchandise. Piggly Wiggly was the first to develop a nationally recognized and advertised brand of food.
4. The pig is in the movies.
You’ve probably seen the hit movie “Driving Miss Daisy.” But, do you remember the star of the show visiting a Piggly Wiggly. The store featured in the movie was no longer a Piggly Wiggly at the time of filming, but they did restore a 1940s sign for the scene.
5. There are more than you may realize.
Today, there are more than 600 store locations nationwide. While most of the stores are in the South and Midwest, there are some in the north as well. In fact, the store’s headquarters are in New Hampshire. Some locations are as far north as North and South Carolina and Virginia and West Virginia.
6. They have special discounts.
If you are a senior citizen, you will want to head to Piggly Wiggly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On those days, the store offers a 5 percent discount off your entire bill. For those in the military, some stores offer discounts on certain days for you. Check out your local store for more details!
7. They shop local.
There’s nothing quite like getting food that is fresh from farmers and growers in your area. Piggly Wiggly knows this and caters to this idea. They specialize in regionally grown and harvested food, which makes things fresher. Your menu will taste great when you choose the local foods.
8. They run in the family.
Each of the stores is individually owned and operated. Some of the franchises have been in families for generations. One family was able to manage their Piggly Wiggly so well that they saved it from flood waters. They wound up being the only store still open during a massive flood because of their smart and quick idea to move product hire.