Progressive Grocer Independent

AUG 2016

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6 | Progressive Grocer Independent | August 2016 What's in a Name? Piggly Wiggly. The Pig, as it's affectionately called by its customers. What's in a name? A lot, as it turns out. T the brand, started by Clarence Saunders in 1916, has stood the test of time even if its name makes little sense. I remember the first time I heard the name Piggly Wiggly, and it's probably a common story for people of a cer- tain age who lived outside the franchise's typical trading area. It was in the movie "Driving Miss Daisy," when Jes- sica Tandy's character, the titular Miss Daisy, told Morgan Freeman's character, Hoke, to take her to Piggly Wiggly. I had no idea what she was talking about. Living in Iowa, I assumed it was a farm supply store, as you would, since it had "pig" in the name. When they ended up at a grocery store, I thought it was a crazy name made up for the movie because who would shop at a store called Piggly Wiggly? Lots of people, and stores with that silly name have been in existence for a century. I think it might have been years before I realized that Piggly Wiggly was indeed a real-life store name, and one that carries with it a lot of customer affinity. While Saunders would never publicly admit how he came up with the name, when I visited Pig- gly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Co., (see PGI 's Piggly Wiggly 100th-anniversary coverage, beginning on page 8), Jerry McCann, SVP and director of retail operations, related the story he heard from some Piggly Wiggly old- timers about the origin of the name. According to lore, Saunders was on a train when he looked out and saw a pig trying to make its way under a fence. He could only see the hind end wiggling and squirming, and thought it was the cutest thing he'd ever seen. us, the Piggly Wiggly name was born. No one knows how he really came up with the name, but it's true that you can't say the name Piggly Wiggly without smiling. And making customers smile is what grocery retailing is all about. No matter how silly the name may seem, what's not silly is the customer loyalty to the brand. e franchise is made up of independent retailers, many of whom have tapped into their neighborhoods to make their stores an integral part of the community. at includes the Crestline neigh- borhood in Mountain Brook, Ala., which mounted a "Save e Pig" protest campaign when the neighborhood Piggly Wiggly lost its lease. A new store opened (featured on page 10) after community leaders, neighbors and store owners worked together to string together several parcels of land to build the store that both the neighbor- hood and the owners wanted. What other supermarket, chain or independent, can sell merchandise with a big pig on it and have consumers wear it proudly? Andy Virciglio, one of the co-owners of the Crestline Piggly Wiggly, can't believe the number of T-shirts the store has sold since it reopened, proclaiming that "e Pig is back." For many customers, Piggly Wiggly isn't just a store, it's their community identity. at pig sure has a lot to squeal about. PGI What's Makes Your Store Great? We can't all trade under the Piggly Wiggly name, but plenty of retailers out there have something to squeal about. Let Progressive Grocer Independent know who you are. We're taking nominations for the fifth annual Outstanding Inde- pendents Awards. Nominations must be in by Nov. 1, 2016. Are your fresh departments, like produce, meat/seafood, bakery or deli/prepared foods, absolutely superb? Is your center store miles ahead of the industry norm? Or do you have particular expertise in technology or sustainability? Let us know how you partner with your community to make it better, or how you "wow" your customers to stand out from the competition. Let us know if you do one or more of these well. From among those stores with excellence in multiple catego- ries, PGI will select the Overall Outstanding Operators — one single store and one multiple-store operator. All winners will be featured in the February 2017 issue and honored during the NGA show the same month. The nomination form can be found at www.progressivegrocer. com/2017independentawards. Editor's Note Katie Martin [email protected] For many customers, Piggly Wiggly isn't just a store, it's their community identity.

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