Image courtesy of historic-memphis.com.
Life in America in 1915 was vastly different from what we know today. A morning commute was more likely to involve an electric trolley or even a horse than an automobile. Telephones were huge, wall-mounted boxes where calls would be connected by a series of operators… and less than 30% of households had a phone at all. Even a trip to the grocery store would be a foreign experience for the modern American – there was no such thing as a shopping cart or a self-scan checkout; shoppers would hand their list to a grocery clerk, who would assemble an order for them while they waited at the counter. But on Sept. 6, 1916, Clarence Saunders gave the world a glimpse of the future when he opened the first Piggly Wiggly® in Memphis, Tennessee. His new store allowed customers to enter the grocery aisles through a turnstile and select their own products. The grocery industry has never looked back.
The man who pioneered the modern grocery store didn't stop with self-service - Piggly Wiggly® became the first to introduce many things that have become commonplace in a modern supermarket, from refrigerated cases to employee uniforms. Perhaps most important, Piggly Wiggly® was the first to franchise its name and model so independent operators could operate under this new self-service method.
September 2016 marks the 100th birthday of Piggly Wiggly®. We’ve marked this remarkable milestone with a special 100th Anniversary Logo, which you can see on a wide variety of merchandise in our web store, and on commemorative packaging for popular items throughout your local Piggly Wiggly, including bottled water, butter, sugar, vegetable oil, cheese, bacon, bread, milk, and others:
As for the next 100 years? "Piggly Wiggly has always been at the forefront of innovation, and we continue to focus on improvements to better the customer experience," say executives at C&S.
Special Thanks to: