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    Piggly Wiggly Opens ‘Intuitive’ Store

    Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company, Inc. on Friday opened what it is billing as “the nation's first completely restructured grocery store model designed to fit the way people intuitively shop."

    Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company, Inc. on Friday opened what it is billing as “the nation's first completely restructured grocery store model designed to fit the way people intuitively shop,” at a highly competitive time for the industry when many traditional grocers are being forced to shut their doors.

    The Charleston, S.C.-based grocery chain said it would consider rolling out the concept based on customer response. The prototype opened at The Market Common, a new mixed-use development in Myrtle Beach, S.C. that features upscale retail stores, condominiums, and restaurants.

    “In today’s competitive market, we felt it was time to take a creative approach that will give people the opportunity to shop the way they think, and have fun while doing it,” said David Schools, Piggly Wiggly c.e.o. “When you enter the Piggly Wiggly at The Market Common, you don’t see check out lines. You don’t go down five aisles to get ingredients for one meal. We’ve even added interior design elements, including wood flooring, soft lighting, and an open-floor plan to make it feel more like home.”

    The retailer said modern technology enabled it to restructure the traditional grocery store model. For instance, Piggly Wiggly claims to be the first to use advanced refrigeration systems and other technologies to arrange food items based on how customers naturally look for them.

    While Piggly Wiggly claimed this store is represents a breakthrough approach, the idea of grouping food items based on how customers use them in meals has been explored in other grocery concepts by other operators, including Food Lion’s Bloom and Marsh’s now-defunct “Lifestyle” store experiment.

    Piggly Wiggly’s approach includes grouping fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and fruit in the same location, as well as cereal and milk. One-stop stations will offer complete meal solutions with items such as ground beef, hamburger buns, chips, and beer grouped together for backyard grilling.

    “Shoppers deserve stores designed for the way consumers shop,” said Nick Giammarco, owner and president of Marco Retail Group, a retail design studio that worked on the concept. “Piggly Wiggly’s new store gives them a food-shopping experience driven by their needs and expectations, not store operations and distribution systems. It moves away from the conventional store layout and marks a strategic shift for this unusually progressive retailer.”

    Additional store features include signature prepared meals available for curb-side pickup, an on-site sommelier, more than 1,500 wine varieties, and a Dream Dinner franchise where as many as two months’ worth of oven-ready meals can be prepared. Nearly 1,600 natural or organic products will also be available.

    Energy efficient measures used throughout the store -- from special lighting to insulation in the walls and ceilings -- will save more than one million kilowatt hours of electricity and prevent three million pounds of carbon dioxide from being produced each year, according to Piggly Wiggly.

    Marco Retail Group worked with Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. to develop the store concept, and McCreary/Snow Architects oversaw construction and engineering.

    Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co., founded in 1947, 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 the southeastern regions of Georgia and North Carolina.

    To see a photo gallery of the new store, visit PG's Multimedia section

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