Piggly Wiggly Plans to Return to New Mexico After 44 Years

Piggly Wiggly, the first self-service grocery store in the United States, has announced its plans to open new stores in New Mexico, after leaving the state in 1979. The company, which operates in 18 states across the American Southern and Midwestern regions, said it will open 10 new locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Roswell, Farmington, and other cities by the end of 2023.

The company’s president and CEO, David Schools, said that Piggly Wiggly is excited to return to New Mexico and offer its customers a unique shopping experience. “We have been looking for opportunities to expand our presence in the Southwest, and we believe that New Mexico is a great market for us. We are confident that our loyal customers will appreciate our quality products, competitive prices, and friendly service,” he said.

Piggly Wiggly Plans to Return to New Mexico After 44 Years
Piggly Wiggly Plans to Return to New Mexico After 44 Years

Piggly Wiggly is known for its distinctive logo featuring a smiling pig wearing a hat and a scarf, as well as its slogan “I Dig the Pig”. The company was founded in 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders, who pioneered the concept of allowing customers to pick their own groceries from the shelves, instead of having a clerk do it for them. The company also introduced innovations such as checkout stands, individual item price marking, shopping carts, and point of sale lanes.

The history of Piggly Wiggly in New Mexico

Piggly Wiggly first entered New Mexico in 1929, when it opened a store in Farmington. The store was located at 201 E. Main Street and was owned by Conrad Cooper. At the time, Piggly Wiggly was the fastest growing supermarket chain in New Mexico.

The company expanded rapidly throughout the state, opening stores in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Roswell, Gallup, Clovis, and other towns. By 1970, there were 29 Piggly Wigglys in New Mexico. However, in 1979, the company began downsizing due to increased competition from other chains such as Safeway and Albertsons. Both Farmington stores were closed that year, along with several others. By 1980, there were only six Piggly Wigglys left in New Mexico. The last one closed its doors in 1982.

The reaction of New Mexicans to the news

The news of Piggly Wiggly’s comeback has been met with enthusiasm and nostalgia by many New Mexicans who remember shopping at the stores as children or adults. Some of them shared their memories and opinions on social media.

“I’m so happy to hear that Piggly Wiggly is coming back to New Mexico! I used to love going there with my grandma when I was little. She always bought me candy and ice cream from their deli section. I can’t wait to see that pig logo again!” wrote Maria Sanchez on Facebook.

“Piggly Wiggly was my favorite grocery store when I lived in Roswell. They had the best meat and produce selection, and their prices were very reasonable. I hope they open a store near me soon!” commented John Smith on Twitter.

“I’m curious to see how Piggly Wiggly will compete with the other supermarkets in New Mexico. They have a lot of loyal customers who have been shopping there for decades. I hope they can offer something different and appealing to attract new customers as well,” said Lisa Jones on Instagram.

Piggly Wiggly said it will announce the exact locations and opening dates of its new stores in New Mexico soon. The company also said it will hire local employees and support local farmers and suppliers.

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