Harris Teeter, BiLo buying Piggly Wigglys

Publix buys into local market
Sep. 14, 2013 @ 06:21 PM

Matthews-based Harris Teeter Supermarkets announced its plans to buy six stores from Piggly Wiggly in South Carolina.

It has also agreed to buy one store under construction.

Grocery retail competitor Bi-Lo announced it will buy 22 Piggly Wiggly stores in South Carolina and Georgia.

The Piggly Wiggly locations bought by Harris Teeter are in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Kiawah Island and Isle of Palms.

The purchase should be complete next month, according to a Harris Teeter press release. Neither company has released the purchase cost.

Meanwhile, a report in the Charlotte Observer on Saturday morning, said that another larger player in the grocery sector, Publix, plans to enter the Charlotte market with a bang. The chain has plans to buy seven Charlotte area Bi-Lo stores and remodel. Added to Publix stores already planned in Ballantyne, South End, Mint Hill and Cornelius, that would give the chain 13 stores in the metropolitan area.

Harris Teeter’s release stated plans to close each newly-acquired store for a few days once the purchase is complete. In that time, each store will be remodeled as a Harris Teeter store.

Piggly Wiggly operates about 100 stores throughout the Ssouth, according to its corporate website. The company started in 1916 by Clarence Saunders in Memphis, Tenn. It was the first food store to have a modern grocery store design. Before, customers would present storekeepers a list of items they wanted to buy. The employees would assemble the items. Saunders believed that method squandered too much employee time.

The first Piggly Wiggly was the only self-service store of its kind. Customers were allowed to walk around the store, select their purchases and pay for it at a central check-out counter. The company was the first to use shopping carts, mark the price of each item and keep perishable items in refrigerated cases.

Harris Teeter is a regional grocery chain with stores in eight states in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic.

According to a Friday story in the Triad Business Journal, Kroger Co. continues its plan to buy 212 Harris Teeter stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Tennessee, Delaware, Washington D.C. and Georgia. Harris Teeter shareholders are scheduled to meet Oct. 3 to decide on the $2.4 billion offer.

Before taking ownership of the Harris Teeter stores, Kroger officials must have the approval from the Federal Trade Commission.