The Union Recorder

Local News

March 25, 2010

Piggly Wiggly brand will remain in Milledgeville

MILLEDGEVILLE — Southern Family Markets, an affiliate of C&S Wholesalers and parent company of Milledgeville’s two Piggly Wiggly stores said Tuesday that the store has no plans to pull out of the Milledgeville market.

Rumors circulating early in the week pointed to local management changes as an indication that the Piggly Wiggly stores may be headed for name changes, new ownership or closure. Southern Family Markets Senior Vice President and General Manager Jeff Burkhead said that is not the case for the Milledgeville stores.

“As in all businesses, periodic management changes are necessary for various reasons,” Burkhead said. “Over the past few months, we have made some management changes, and each time we make these decisions based on what’s best for our people and what’s best for our customers.”

Burkhead said that the two stores, one which serves as the dominant grocery presence on the south side of Milledgeville, would remain open as Piggly Wiggly locations for the foreseeable future.

“Our Milledgeville locations continue to be a very important part of our company, and we have no plans to leave Milledgeville or close either of our stores,” Burkhead said. “Even though some of our stores have undergone banner changes, no immediate plans are in place to convert our Piggly Wiggly stores in Milledgeville.”

Burkhead also said that staffing levels were based strictly on business needs in the communities where the stores operate.

Southern Family Markets has operated stores under the Piggly Wiggly, Bruno’s, Food World and namesake Southern Family Markets banners.

Supermarkets across the country continue to adapt to the challenges of a landscape that in recent years has changed drastically. Smaller grocers that still thrive have found niche markets and offer custom services while larger grocery stores have transformed into one-stop stores where shoppers can visit a florist, bakery and delicatessen as well as pick up house wares and even outdoor furnishings all under one roof. Even department stores have added groceries to the ever-burgeoning list of things available to shoppers in one trip.

Mid-size grocery stores are changing owners and names, expanding their own offerings and even closing in many markets. But in Milledgeville, a variety of grocery stores are still operating.

Walmart, Kroger, Save-A-Lot and two Piggly Wiggly stores operate in Milledgeville along with Martins’ IGA and Johnnie McDade Grocery.

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