You Just Have to Like Piggly Wiggly History

Piggly Wiggly signPiggly Wiggly is one of those brands that is famous mostly because it is a cool name and a cool mascot. For generations, Americans have loved the concept that you followed a grocery store around like a pig’s tail, and you would pass through ALL the merchandise. Hence, Piggly Wiggly.

The stores are good too.

There are more than 600 Piggly Wiggly stores today; in 17 states too. The chain is only a Southern phenom.

A bit of history:

Piggly Wiggly was founded in Memphis, Tennessee 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 this method resulted in wasted time and man hours, 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 new kind of store would fail, the first Piggly Wiggly opened September 6, 1916 at 79 Jefferson Street in Memphis.

Above, a sign from the store just off I-95 in Santee, South Carolina.

Many Piggly Wiggly stores are independently owned and operated.



  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.


  1. My father was a meat cutter at Piggly Wiggly. I have a photo of him and another employee at the meat department. Leg of lamb for 19 cents a pound was displayed. that would make it around 1930. the market was in the Los Angeles county area. Is there a list of markets that were around then with addresses. Thank you for your consideration. Robert Teeter

  2. love the brand & gt name & logo/pic

  3. Years ago they had a bumper sticker that said “I’m stickin’ with the pig”! How funny was that!?!?

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