The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

Piggly Wiggly Goes Intuitive

Piggly Wiggly Goes Intuitive

In the News

July 27, 2008

 As food prices rise and specialty stores saturate the market, retailers are continuing to look for innovative ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Wal-Mart, for one, recently transformed their Garland, Texas store into a “Hispanic community” store, offering several brands from Mexico and Latin America. Now Piggy Wiggly is joining the fray with an “intuitively structured” location.
Piggy Wiggly’s Myrtle Beach, South Carolina store is the nation’s first restructured model designed to fit the way people instinctually shop. For example, when shopping for cereal, a customer will intuitively search for milk. In most grocery stores, milk and cereal products are located in different sections. In the new Piggy Wiggly store, however, milk and cereal are positioned side by side. Beverages, like coffee, wine and beer, are featured together.
Today, there are advancements that make it possible, and efficient energy-wise, to place refrigeration cases throughout the store. Fifty years ago, on the other hand, stores were only designed with refrigeration around the store perimeters. These new developments in modern technology have enabled Piggly Wiggly to position things like different forms of fruits and vegetables together. Now, fresh, canned and frozen corn can all be found in the same aisle – a real time-saver for customers.
“Most of our guests come to the store with a grocery list that’s based on the recipes and meals they plan to prepare. At a typical supermarket, finding all those items often requires searching through several aisles,” says Rita Postell, Manager of Community and Employee Relations at Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. “With a layout designed for intuitive shopping, items are grouped based on what they are and how people use them, making it easy to comparison shop and find multiple items at once.”
In addition, the new store features four one-stop stations where consumers can find all the ingredients they’ll need to prepare a full meal, complete with recipes and instructions. An on-site “Dream Dinners” franchise allows shoppers to prepare a week’s worth of meals for the entire family in just a few simple steps. Shoppers on the go can call ahead and order a chef prepared meal for dinner. They’ll even bring it to your car.
And that’s not all. The store’s featured energy-saving technologies, including special lighting and insulation, save more than one million kilowatt hours of electricity while preventing three million pounds of carbon dioxide from being produced each year. Organics are on tap, too. The new Piggly Wiggly store plans to offer close to 1,600 natural or organic products thanks to the chain’s new vigorous certification process.
“So far response has been very positive, and we expect this new design to change the way shoppers view grocery shopping in the future,” says Postell. “Our guests seem to really enjoy the new experience.”
Visually, the store also strikes a different pose. When you enter the market, you don’t see check out lines. Interior design elements, like wood flooring, soft lighting and an open floor plan, strive to make the process feel more like being at home. Unlike shopping in many other stores, consumers don’t get lost looking for all the items on their shopping list. The new set-up enables them to find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently.
This type of creative approach to food retail is giving customers an opportunity to shop the way they think, and have fun while doing it, says Postell. The new store moves away from the conventional store layout, she says, in an attempt to better reach their evolving clientele. Consumers want to shop in an atmosphere where they feel calm and catered to, and that’s exactly the type of experience the new Piggly Wiggly location sets out to provide.
“Today’s consumers are looking for the best value for the money, and this store offers them that. At the same time, our customers are increasingly busy, and we offer them all the solutions they need for quick and easy meals at home, signature prepared meals, and a layout that makes the items on their list easy to find,” says Postell.
Based in Charleston, South Carolina since its inception in 1947, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company is the largest employee-owned, privately operated retail company in South Carolina. The Company has more than 115 stores and over 5,0000 employee owners throughout South Carolina and the southeastern regions of Georgia and North Carolina.