Is Piggly Wiggly Owned By Kroger?

9 mins read

The US is home to some of the leading grocery store chains globally. Although most of them are similar in their product offerings, one stands out from the crowd โ€” Piggly Wiggly.

But what is Piggly Wiggly? Is it part of a larger chain? Here we’ll look at whether Kroger owns Piggly Wiggly, its history, and other interesting facts.

Did Kroger Buy Piggly Wiggly?

Kroger bought the Piggly Wiggly stores in Memphis in the late 1920s when the company started operating as a franchise. Even though Kroger owns a part of the Piggly Wiggly brand, they don’t own all their stores.ย 

Piggly Wiggly
Eric Hunt, via Wikimedia Commons

Who Owns Piggly Wiggly

Piggly Wiggly’s parent company is C & S Wholesale Grocers. However, all Piggly Wiggly stores are independently owned and operated. Since the stores function as a franchise, individual store owners pay a percentage of their revenue to the parent company headquarters in Keene, New Hampshire.

9 Things You Should Know About Piggly Wiggly

1) Piggly Wiggly is more than a century old

Piggly Wiggly operates in the Southern and Midwestern regions of the United States. The first store was opened on September 6, 1916, at 79 Jefferson Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders.

2) It was the first self-service store

It was the nation’s first actual self-service grocery store. In contrast to other stores of the time, customers did not order items from employees behind a counter. Instead, they would walk through the aisles and select items themselves, placing them into baskets provided for that purpose. Currently, Piggly Wiggly offers online shopping, in-store checkout, curbside pickup, and home delivery services.

3) Where are Piggly Wiggly’s stores located?

Currently, 502 Piggly Wiggly store locations are operating mainly in the Southern and Midwestern regions of the US. Its corporate offices are in Keene, New Hampshire. The company’s over 600 stores in the following states.

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

4) Which US state has the most number of Piggly Wiggly stores?

Alabama has 103 Piggly Wiggly locations and is home to the majority of all Piggly Wiggly stores in the United States. Wisconsin and Georgia are second and third, with 93 and 70 stores, respectively.

5) What is Piggly Wiggly known for?

Piggly Wiggly is the supermarket industry pioneer in implementing innovative concepts. The company had several firsts in the industry, including the following:

  • It was the first true self-service grocery store
  • The first store to have checkout stands
  • Introduced shopping carts for its customers
  • First to allow customers to bag their groceries
  • Mark every item in-store with its price
  • To store produce in refrigerated cases to prolong their shelf life
  • Have their employees in uniforms
  • Allow franchising under their name

6) What does Piggly Wiggly sell?

The company offers a wide variety of products and services to customers, including but not limited to:

  • Fresh Meat
  • Seafood
  • Deli & Cheese
  • Produce
  • Specialty Cheese
  • Dairy & Frozen Foods
  • General Grocery
  • Ace hardware

7) Piggly Wiggly is a franchise

Piggly Wiggly operates as a franchise. The company raised the bar for modern grocery stores by pioneering the franchising model. It owns and manages the Piggly Wiggly name and trademark rights, but all stores are independently owned and operated.

8) No one knows the origin of the name “Piggly Wiggly”

Saunders’ inspiration for the name remains a mystery. There are many theories surrounding the source of the phrase “Piggly Wiggly.” One of which is that Saunders had seen some little pigs struggling to get under a fence, which reminded him of the rhyme.

Another theory states that Saunders once answered a question about the origin of his organization’s name by saying, “So people will ask that very question.” Whatever his reason for choosing the title, he died in 1953 without revealing it.

9) Piggly Wiggly’s competitors expected it to fail

When Piggly Wiggly opened, other grocers laughed at Saunders’s business idea. It was so unusual; it struck them as being more than a little ridiculous. They were wrong, though. Customers loved that they could walk through the store and select items for themselves.

A few months Piggly Wiggly opened, it made $80,000 more than the average grocery store did. They did this while cutting their costs by more than two-thirds.

Is Piggly Wiggly Cheaper than Kroger?

Kroger is cheaper than Piggly Wiggly. This is primarily due to Kroger’s enormous buying power. With 2,700 stores, Kroger can buy more food supplies cheaply than Piggly Wiggly at its 600 stores.

What Companies are Owned by Kroger?

The Kroger Co. is the parent company of Kroger, and it operates retail supermarkets and multi-department stores in the United States. Some of the most popular grocery retail and pharmacy chains in the US under the Kroger family are;

  • Fred Meyer
  • Baker’s
  • City Market
  • Dillons
  • Food 4 Less
  • Foods Co
  • Fry’s
  • Gerbes
  • Jay C Food Store
  • Kroger fuel stations
  • Mariano’s
  • Smith’s Food and Drug
  • Metro Market
  • Pay-Less Super Markets
  • Pick ‘n Save
  • QFC
  • Ralphs
  • Ruler
  • King Soopers

The majority shareholder of Kroger is W Rodney Macmullen. He owns 3,000+ shares of Kroger Co stock, worth an estimated $1,123,545. As of March 2022, his net worth is estimated to be at least 22.3 Million dollars.

FAQs

Are Piggly Wiggly stores closing?

Piggly Wiggly stores have been closing their doors in recent years. In July and August 2021, they closed some stores in North Carolina and Alabama because of labor shortages and competition from other national chains. They are also facing growing acquisitions.

What is Piggly Wiggly’s phone number?

You can contact Piggly Wiggly on (205) 481-2300.

Does Kroger own Publix?

No, Kroger and Publix are two different businesses. Publix is a grocer with 1,162 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. One key difference between these two retailers is that Publix is employee-owned while shareholders own Kroger.

Can you shop online at Piggly Wiggly?

Piggly Wiggly offers a partnership with Instacart that allows customers to order anything from their website or mobile app. Customers then can pick them up at Piggly Wigglys curbside pickup or have them delivered to their home.

Is Piggly Wiggly cheaper than Walmart?

Walmart and Piggly Wiggly are almost identical in their product offerings and quality. However, Piggly Wiggly is cheaper than Walmart.

Conclusion

Piggly Wiggly is one of America’s oldest food retailers, dating back to 1916. Since then, its supermarkets have become important fixtures in cities and towns across the South.

Despite their history, Kroger does not own these supermarkets. Piggly Wiggly operates on a franchise system, and independent operators own each store. Kroger is only part of the franchise, having acquired Piggly Wiggly stores in Memphis back in the 1920s.

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