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CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company here is expanding and renovating its supermarket at The Plaza at Shelter Cove shopping center in Hilton Head, a popular resort area in coastal South Carolina, to keep up with its customers' upscale tastes.
The store will remain open during the renovation, which is expected to begin in late September or early October and be complete by next spring. Store owner Tony Poythress said in a statement that the changes are in response to consumer demand for fresh, ready-to-serve foods, and a greater variety of products, as the area grows in terms of both its affluence and in its permanent and seasonal population.
Among the store's upgrades:
-- The deli area will add a Boar's Head sub station, juice and fresh fruit bar, olive and sushi bar, a salad bar, a pizza station, and a coffee bar, as well as tables for in-store dining.
-- An enlarged seafood department will feature an increased variety of local fresh fish, with specials changing daily.
-- An expanded bakery will offer a greater selection of baked goods, including scratch-baked breads and specialty products such as freshly made gourmet candies and desserts.
-- In addition to increasing its assortment of standard cuts, the meat department will add a service meat case for special cuts, making them readily available for selection.
Beyond these improvements, the expansion will make room for a greater variety of dry goods and frozen foods on store shelves, as well as a wider selection of domestic and imported cheeses and wines. Overall, the store will increase in size from 25,840 to 30,280 square feet.
"We're upgrading the Piggly Wiggly shopping experience due to customer demand," said Poythress. "They want the freshest possible foods, more variety, and they want to be able to get in and out quickly so they can get back to experiencing the beauty of the Lowcountry."
One way the Shelter Cove store has already accommodated this desire for expedience is through the store's new "pay by touch" check-out option, which was installed in early summer and has been well-received, according to Poythress. "Pay by touch" allows customers to shop without their wallets, checkbooks or PFC cards, simply paying with an instantaneous finger-point scan once a customer account has been created. Accounts can be set up to draw from the customer's bank account or credit card. Piggly Wiggly's Carolina franchise was the first grocery chain in the nation to implement such a system.
"Pay-by-touch is simply about ease," said Poythress. "Not only is it much faster, there's no possibility of losing your credit card, no need to write a check, no need to pull out your keys for your PFC card. And by using a finger-point scan, it is entirely secure without keeping an actual fingerprint on file."
Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company Inc. today is the largest employee-owned, privately operated retail company in South Carolina. The company has more than 115 stores and over 5,000 employee owners throughout South Carolina and southeastern Georgia.