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Home Tennessee Shelby County Memphis Historical Markers Piggly Wiggly

Piggly Wiggly

85 N. Main St., Memphis, TN , USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 8' 49.590744", -90° 3' 7.827588"
  Tennessee TN State Historical Marker
Tennessee State
Historical Marker

With a brass band, a beauty contest, flowers for the
ladies, and balloons for the children, Clarence Saunders of Memphis
opened the first Piggly Wiggly, America's first completely self-service
grocery store, at 79 Jefferson Avenue (1/2 block west of here) on
Sept. 6, 1916. In conventional stores of that time, shoppers presented
their orders to clerks who fetched goods, ground coffee beans, measured
flour and sugar, and then added the bills in pencil on the back of sacks.
--- At Piggly Wiggly, customers entered through a turnstile, filled
their own baskets as they walked through a maze of shelves containing
hundreds of products and had their bills figured by clerks with adding
machines. Saunders received patents for many of his innovative designs.
By 1921 his company Piggly Wiggly Corporation, had franchised stores in
200 cities in 40 states, with combined sales of $60 million. In only five
years Saunders had Revolution ized the U.S. grocery industry.

Last updated: 2/14/2015 15:17:00
Piggly Wiggly Historical Marker Location Map, Memphis, Tennessee Map