If you're "Big on the Pig," you might be disappointed to hear that privately owned grocery store chain Piggly Wiggly (Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company) has announced the sale of almost 30 of its stores. According to The Post and Courier, 22 stores will be sold to Bi-Lo and 7 will be sold to Harris Teeter.
While there are more than 600 stores using the Piggly Wiggly branding, the Charleston, South Carolina based chain Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company owns around 100 of the stores. Selling off nearly a third of its stores wasn't an easy decision to come to, and Piggly Wiggly spokesman Christopher Ibsen said that part of the decision to sell had to do with some of the other grocery store mergers, such as the Kroger-Harris Teeter merger.
“The environment that has heated up dramatically in the past six months in the grocery industry with mergers and acquisitions created an opportunity for us to ensure the value of our employee-owned company,” Ibsen said. The sale price of the 29 stores hasn't been disclosed.
An estimated 1200 employees work at the Piggly Wiggly stores that are being sold, and all of them are expected to be retained. "We look forward to welcoming these new associates to the Bi-Lo Holdings family and to building on the strength of these stores," said Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Bi-Lo Holdings. "We will continue to fine-tune our company and network of stores so that we can reinvest in what matters most for our customers."
The announcement of the almost 30 Piggly Wiggly locations in South Carolina and Georgia being sold comes as Bi-Lo announces selling a few of its stores to Publix. Their stores will be sold in the Charlotte, NC area.
With so many grocery store chains playing musical chairs, will some customers just switch to Walmart? Even though it can take forever to get through the checkout line thanks to only a handful of registers being open, the consistency in branding might be somewhat appreciated.