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Piggly Wiggly will be back in business again, serving customers in what is presently the Kroger Supermarket building.
Memphis-based Sewell-Allen, Inc. has reached an agreement to purchase the Kroger store at 1234 Sunset and plans to convert the store to a Piggly Wiggly following the transition of ownership in late June, according to a press release from the company.

The acquisition comes several months after the Sewell-Allen-owned Piggly Wiggly on Fairground Road was destroyed by fire on December 9 of last year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The new owners have announced plans to customize the store with renovations including new signage, new decor and expanded varieties of product.

The company said employees of the Fairground Piggly Wiggly will be transferred to the new store. Sewell-Allen has continued to keep the former Piggly Wiggly staff employed and on the payroll since the fire despite the fact that they have not been able to work. It is uncertain at this time what other job openings might be available but the company will be advertising those positions to the community.

According to Sewell-Allen president Rick James, the company is eager to get back in business in Grenada. "Piggly Wiggly has such a long-standing and rich history in Grenada," said James. "Naturally, the fire was a tragic incident, so we're very excited to be able to acquire this store and make it our own. I think our customers will see very soon how committed we are to bringing back the kind of supermarket they've come to expect from Piggly Wiggly."

James said he's eager to get the store up and running with the same Piggly Wiggly staff.

"When you get right down to it, it's the people that make any grocery store worth coming back to. We were very fortunate to have a stellar group of employees at our former store. And we're glad that we could keep them employed during this interim. I thing they're ready to get started taking care of our customers again. And I think our customers are ready for that, too," he said.

Sewell-Allen is owned by Lex Sewell and Dan Allen, both of whom grew up near Grenada. The company is Memphis' largest independently and locally owned grocery store operator and the region's largest Piggly Wiggly franchisee. In addition to its Grenada store, the company owns and operates 11 Piggly Wiggly stores, one MegaMarket and one Cost Less, a price impact format.

©The Daily Sentinel Star 2007

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