What’s in a name?

Published 11:13 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Frequent customers may have noticed a new face — the Piggly Wiggly logo — on the shelves of The Corner Market in Andalusia during last several months. New signs will soon be in place outside to officially announce the store is changing to a Piggly Wiggly.

Marilyn Williams, co-owner of The Corner Market, said that customers can expect the same quality service, the same smiling faces, lower prices and the same high quality meat they have grown to love during the last 17 years, despite the store’s new name.

“We have not sold our store,” Williams said. “We will retain 100 percent ownership of the business. We have actually bought in the Piggly Wiggly franchise.

“Piggly Wiggly is very independent friendly,” she added. “We really need to stress that. People seem to think that Piggly Wiggly has bought us out and they do not like that. That is certainly not the case. We will be the same clean store with the same quality service.”

Williams said Piggly Wiggly is one of the few remaining grocery store corporations that allow independent companies to adopt the company name, receive shipments from their warehouses and retain ownership of the store.

“They are the only co-op reseller left,” Williams said. “They are the only Alabama-based wholesaler left. We were with Super Value, which is based out of Florida, for 22 years, but they are gearing more and more toward chain operation. We were not forced to change, but it cost us more money to remain with them. We have been buying from Piggly Wiggly since January and we are simply buying a lot more from our own state.”

According to Williams, the switch not only allows the store to “buy Alabama,” but it allows customers to receive substantial discounts on Piggly Wiggly brand products.

“We are going to have the same meats and fresh produce,” Williams said. “Many people see us as the best meat department in town and we aim to keep it that way. We will simply have a lot more variety in the grocery department. There will be more selection at a better price. Piggly Wiggly products are available at a much lower price than name-brand products.”

Williams said customers can expect to see familiar faces everywhere, including at the register, and prices customers see on the shelves will not change at the register.

“There will be no extra cost applied at the register,” she said. “Customers can expect to pay the same price for their groceries at the register that they see on the shelf. I feel customers will be pleased with the added grocery variety and the reduced cost of the Piggly Wiggly brand grocery items.”

Marilyn and Ronnie Williams first opened The Corner Market in Andalusia as The Little Corner Market in 1990 and expanded its structure in 1996.

Check future editions of The Star-News for the grand opening date of the Piggly Wiggly in Andalusia.

“They are in the process of making the signs right now,” Williams said. “We plan to make the switch and hold a ‘re-grand opening’ in the next 30 days.”