MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Piggly Wiggly's newest store here is centered around a massive Chef's Kitchen area that occupies the middle of the building.
It offers an array of hot prepared dishes, sandwiches and heat-and-eat meals in an open area that greets customers as they walk in the front doors.
Unlike most supermarkets, which direct customers past the checkout lanes as they enter the store, Piggly Wiggly keeps the checkouts hidden, on the other side of the store, leading customers on a horseshoe-shaped loop from the entrance to the checkout.
Along the way are four “meal solutions pods” that offer mix-and-match suggestions for customers to combine various meal components. They can be moved around the store and can combine dry, refrigerated and frozen goods.
For example, at the grand opening, one of the pods featured a pasta station with 10 varieties of dry pasta, five varieties of sauces, plus two choices of protein — meatballs or hot Italian sausages — in a small coffin-case refrigerator unit.
In addition, the pod featured an array of extras, including baguettes, Roma tomatoes and various cheeses. Another pod was labeled as a “Low Country boil,” a Southern specialty whose components included kielbasa, shrimp, smoked sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes and seasonings.