“Big On the Pig” Except When It’s In a Poke

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The Piggly Wiggly grocery story has always had a certain charm surrounding it, no doubt because of its unique name and it's connection with the South. Recently, 29 "Wigglys" were sold to BiLo and Harris Teeter dropping the total store number to about 570. Clarence Saunders founded the store in Memphis in 1916. Saunders was a bit of the P.T. Barnum as he originated putting food out in aisles for shoppers, instead of having a clerk hand over the can of green beans. Mr. Saunders was a little vague about where he got the name "Piggly Wiggly," but it might have been a reflection of his cavalier personality. Because he acted a little "piggy" in the early-twenties by driving the company's stock price up (from $39 a share to $124 a share in 6 months) he was forced into bankruptcy by big "bear" traders on Wall Street. At that time he wasn't exactly "diggin' the pig." You might say his "pig in a poke" scheme was laid "bare."

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