Piggly Wiggly stores will be sold in South Carolina and Georgia in a move likely to anger many customers. The stores, owned by family business Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., will be purchased by BiLo Holdings and Teeter Harris.
Piggly Wiggly has been a staple in the region since the first store opened in 1916. The chain was the first self-service grocery stores and was also the first to provide checkout stands and mark prices on every item.
While there are currently more than 600 independently owned and operated stores in 17 states, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. owns 100 of them.
ABC News 4 reports that BiLo Holdings, a parent company of BiLo and Winn Dixie grocery stores, will purchase 22 stores, while Harris Teeter will acquire seven.
Harris Teeter officials stated that the deal should be completed by the end of October. At that point, the stores will be closed for several days while they are restocked and employees are trained. Pharmacies will remain open through the transition, notes WRAL.
David Schools, president and CEO of Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., spoke about the sale. Schools stated, “The departure of employees from the Piggly Wiggly team will be acutely felt, but we know that Bi-Lo Holdings will benefit from these outstanding folks.”
Harris Teeter’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas W. Dickson, complimented Piggly Wiggly in the sale announcement, saying the grocery chain “has a long tradition of operating customer-friendly stores in Charleston.” Dickson added, “These store locations and the dedicated associates who work in them make this an especially attractive transaction for Harris Teeter.”
The larger chain plans to remodel many of the stores it is acquiring “to create brand new Harris Teeter stores to serve our customers.” It appears all of the Piggly Wiggly stores sold in the two deals will be renamed.
[Image by Billy Hathorn via Wikimedia Commons]