The Red Piggly Wiggly

By: Ginger

Apr 06 2010

Tags: , , ,

Category: Ruby Tuesday


Focal Length:210mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

This photo was taken in Riegelwood, NC, a small unincorporated town in Columbus County. The bright red Piggly Wiggly sign is a common sight in southeastern North Carolina.

Piggly Wiggly, America’s first true self-service grocery store, was founded in Memphis, Tenn. in 1916 by Clarence Saunders. In grocery stores of that time, shoppers presented their orders to clerks who gathered the goods from the store shelves. Saunders, a flamboyant and innovative man, noticed that this method resulted in wasted time and expense, so he came up with an unheard-of solution that would revolutionize the entire grocery industry: he developed a way for shoppers to serve themselves.

Despite predictions that this novel idea would fail, Saunders’ first store opened September 6, 1916 at 79 Jefferson Street in Memphis. Operating under the unusual name Piggly Wiggly, it was unlike any other grocery store of that time. There were shopping baskets, open shelves and no clerks to shop for the customer – all unheard of!

Today there are more than 600 Piggly Wiggly stores serving communities in 17 states. All Piggly Wiggly stores are independently owned and operated, and are located primarily throughout the Southeast and as far north as Wisconsin.

This picture was chosen for Ruby Tuesday.

To see more daily photos of other cities around the world, visit City Daily Photo.


4 comments on “The Red Piggly Wiggly”

  1. A disarming swine he is! I haven’t been in the South in a while, so I have seen these signs before. I grew up in the era of the supermarket, but I like wide aisles as my wheelchair can move around more freely so I may review the food products. The daily routine often leads to fine rubies, like this little piggy…

  2. Need tea or coffee?
    Strawberries or potatoes?
    At Piggly Wiggly!

    Pick your ruby:
    The Other Way

  3. sometimes when I need just one or two items, it will be great for someone to get them for me.

  4. piggly wiggly sure was ahead of its time … it must have taken other stores at least 50 years to catch up … happy ruby tuesday.

    My Ruby Post

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