Photograph - Home Decor And Giclee Wall Art By Chris Flees
This is a vintage Piggly Wiggly sign.
Piggly Wiggly is widely recognized as the first self-service grocery store, where customers could browse through aisles and choose their own products instead of relying on a clerk to retrieve items for them. The concept was revolutionary for its time and transformed the grocery shopping experience.
Piggly Wiggly was founded by Clarence Saunders, a Memphis entrepreneur, in 1916. Saunders developed the self-service concept while working at a grocery store in his hometown of Memphis. He observed that clerks spent a lot of time retrieving items for customers, which slowed down the shopping experience. Saunders believed that customers would prefer the convenience of being able to choose their own products and pay for them at a central checkout.
Saunders opened the first Piggly Wiggly store in Memphis in 1916. The store was an immediate success, and Saunders quickly expanded the chain throughout the southern United States. By 1922, there were over 1,200 Piggly Wiggly stores in operation.
The success of Piggly Wiggly inspired other grocery store owners to adopt the self-service model, and it became the standard for the industry. Saunders continued to innovate in the grocery industry, introducing ideas such as pre-packaged meats and produce and centralized warehouses.
Despite his success, Saunders faced financial difficulties, and in 1923 he was forced to file for bankruptcy. He went on to develop other business ventures, but none were as successful as Piggly Wiggly. Today, Piggly Wiggly remains a popular grocery store chain in the southern United States, with over 500 stores in operation.
May 10th, 2023
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