Check out the vidoe of Piggly Wiggly's first in the nation store to fit how customers intuitively shop

New Consumer Experience-Driven Approach Designed to Stand out in Highly Competitive Market

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company, Inc. today opened the nation’s first completely restructured grocery store model designed to fit the way people intuitively shop.

The pioneering effort by the South Carolina-based grocery chain comes at a highly competitive time for the industry, when many traditional grocery stores – faced with rising food costs, increasing gas prices and a slowing economy – are being forced to shut their doors.

While many stores have introduced cosmetic changes and special features – such as improved signage and coffee counters – the Piggly Wiggly at The Market Common is the first in the country to build a completely new prototype from the ground up.

“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 CEO. “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.”

Several recent developments in modern technology have made it possible to restructure the traditional grocery store model, and Piggly Wiggly is the first to use advanced refrigeration systems and other technologies to arrange food items based on how customers naturally look for them. Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and fruit, for instance, will be in the same location, as will 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 leading retail design studio. “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, thanks to a vigorous certification process that only a few retailers nationwide have completed.

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.

The store opened today at The Market Common, the city’s new mixed-use development featuring upscale retail stores, condominiums and restaurants. Duplication efforts will be determined by customer response.

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

About Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company

A Charleston, S.C. based Supermarket Company founded in 1947. Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company 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.

For a behind-the scenes video tour of the new store, please click here.(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXG4dlnHiEE)

High res images and b-roll video are also available upon request.

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