Piggly Wiggly is showing signs of a comeback in the state of Texas — and the growth is being attributed to both the recent C&S acquisition deal, as well as the efforts of one independent grocer, reports the Dallas Morning News.
Local Texan Fernando Soto owns three Save A Lot stores. He converted two of those into Piggly Wiggly stores last year, and is preparing to rebrand a third.
The former food broker said he has experienced nothing but success with his two existing Piggly Wiggly stores, indicating that both sales and customer count were up at both locations.
C&S Wholesale Grocers owns the Piggly Wiggly brand, which is independently franchised to store operators. The company recently signed on a deal to purchase over 400 Kroger and Albertsons stores across the country if the Federal Trade Commision approves the pending $24.6 billion Kroger, Albertsons merger.
At one point there were more than 2,600 Piggly Wigglys nationwide. The brand was originally credited with coming up with the idea of self-service aisles and shopping carts. Before that time, shoppers would hand lists to clerks, who would then gather the groceries.
Today there are just 500 Piggly Wigglys across 18 states. The company was divided and stores were sold off by region before Piggly Wiggly was franchised in the 1960s. C&S Wholesale Grocers picked up the remaining locations when Fleming Cos. filed for bankruptcy in 2003.
C&S has yet to operate a store in Texas, but it does supply more than 900 independent stores in the state.