Piggly Wiggly, the iconic supermarket chain that pioneered the self-service grocery store concept, is making a comeback in New Mexico after a 15-year absence. The company announced that it will open a new store in Albuquerque by the end of this year, bringing its signature products and services to the local community.
A Long History of Innovation and Customer Service
Piggly Wiggly was founded in 1916 by Clarence Saunders in Memphis, Tennessee, as the first grocery store that allowed customers to pick their own items from the shelves, instead of relying on clerks to fetch them. This revolutionary idea changed the grocery industry forever, as it reduced costs, increased efficiency, and enhanced customer satisfaction. Piggly Wiggly also introduced other innovations, such as checkout stands, shopping carts, price marking, and self-service meat departments.
Over the years, Piggly Wiggly expanded its operations across the country, reaching more than 2,600 stores in 40 states at its peak. However, due to various factors such as competition, consolidation, and bankruptcy, the company gradually lost its market share and closed many of its locations. Today, Piggly Wiggly operates about 530 stores in 17 states, mostly in the Southern and Midwestern regions. The company is owned by C&S Wholesale Grocers, one of the largest food distributors in the U.S.
A New Opportunity in New Mexico
Piggly Wiggly had a presence in New Mexico from the 1920s to the 2000s, but it eventually withdrew from the state due to low profitability and high overhead costs. The last store to close was in Las Cruces in 2006. Since then, many loyal customers have missed the unique shopping experience and quality products that Piggly Wiggly offered.
Now, after 15 years, Piggly Wiggly is ready to return to New Mexico with a new store in Albuquerque. The company said that it saw an opportunity to fill a niche in the local market, as there is a demand for a smaller and more personalized grocery store that can cater to the diverse needs and preferences of the customers. The new store will be located at 1234 Central Avenue NW, in a former Save A Lot building that has been vacant for two years. The store will have about 20,000 square feet of space and employ about 50 workers.
What to Expect from the New Store
The new Piggly Wiggly store will offer a wide range of products and services that will appeal to both old and new customers. Some of the features that customers can look forward to are:
- A full-service bakery and deli department that will offer fresh breads, pastries, cakes, sandwiches, salads, and hot foods.
- A meat department that will feature USDA Choice beef, pork, poultry, and seafood, as well as custom cuts and special orders.
- A produce department that will showcase locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as organic and specialty items.
- A dairy department that will carry Piggly Wiggly’s own brand of milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream.
- A frozen food department that will stock Piggly Wiggly’s exclusive line of frozen pizzas, entrees, desserts, and snacks.
- A grocery department that will have a variety of national and regional brands, as well as Piggly Wiggly’s private label products that offer high quality at low prices.
- A health and beauty department that will provide personal care products, vitamins, supplements, and natural remedies.
- A pharmacy department that will offer prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, immunizations, and health screenings.
- A customer service department that will handle bill payments, money orders, lottery tickets, gift cards, and more.
The new store will also have a loyalty program that will reward customers with points for every purchase they make. The points can be redeemed for discounts on future purchases or donated to local charities. In addition, the store will host weekly specials, promotions, events, and contests to engage with the customers and give back to the community.
The new Piggly Wiggly store is expected to open by December 2023. The company said that it is excited to serve the Albuquerque area and hopes to expand its presence in New Mexico in the future.