Welcome To Piggly Wiggly

The Original American Super Market

Piggly Wiggly was founded in 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee, by the late Clarence Saunders. Saunders virtually invented the supermarket. A flamboyant figure, Saunders put existing practices and techniques together, systemizing them into the original self-service grocery store. His stores astounded the food industry: shopping baskets- and no clerks to wait on customers- it was unheard of!
The format of all modern supermarkets is based on the Piggly Wiggly plan of self-service. All good things that come to American shoppers were brought to them first by Piggly Wiggly:

  • First to sell foods by the self-service supermarket system which is originated in 1916.
  • First to provide shopping baskets and check-out stands.
  • First to price mark every item in a food store.
  • First to give shoppers more for the food dollar through high volume/low profit margin retailing.
  • First to use refrigerated cases to keep perishables fresher longer.
  • First to require employee uniforms.
  • First to design and use patented fixtures and equipment throughout the store.
  • First to franchise independent grocers to operate under the self-service method of food merchandising.


Clarence Saunders would never elaborate on the origin of the Piggly Wiggly name. When approached on the matter, he’d answer, “I named it that so people like you would ask me just that question.” And, since 1916, the name has been recognized and remembered all over the world.