Macon Georgia area History (Piggly Wiggly)

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Edric Floyd
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Macon Georgia area History (Piggly Wiggly)

Post by Edric Floyd » 09 Apr 2006 23:17

Macon Georgia Grocery history as I know so far. And it is a long and detailed history.

Over the past 50 years, the primary chains to operate in the Macon/Warner Robins area were: Piggly Wiggly, Winn-Dixie, Kroger, Food Lion, A&P, Colonial/Big Star, FoodMax and Red Apple. Long time independent (neighborhood) groceries include Bateman & Wade, Rocky Creek Foods, C&J and Macon Food Fair.

Newer chains include Publix, Save-a-lot and 7 (count them...SEVEN) Wal-Mart Supercenters. and Southern Family Markets operating under the names "Southern Family Market" and "Piggly Wiggly".

I should count that there are two Ingles stores just outside and North of Macon and two Harvey's stores south of Macon.

Piggly Wiggly: Ownership by Piggly Wiggly Southern and later Bruno's. the name disappeared in 1998 when owner Bruno's combined them with existing FoodMax stores, changed the names of the Piggly Wiggly's to FoodMax and closed some underperforming stores. The name Piggly Wiggly returned to the Macon area when Brunos (owned by Ahold?) sold all of the Foodmax stores to a "new" company called Southern Family Foods which turned all of the Foodmax stores into Piggly Wiggly franchises in the fall of 2005. Foodmax ceases to exist.

NOTE: There has always been Piggly Wiggly franchises in rural towns in Central and South Georgia not affected by the changes in Macon/Warner Robins

Piggly Wiggly store locations:

MACON
Riverside Drive and Ingleside Avenue, next to K-Mart (Late 1960's)- Demolished, now Hutchings High School

Riverside Drive and Pierce Avenue (1950's-1980's)-Now Aunt Zelda's Furnature. Eckerd's and Blockbuster were add ons built in 1990

Northside Drive and Forest Hill road (1970's-1980's)-Now Warner Robins Building supply and lumber. Piggly Wiggly moved into new "upscale" store across street as FoodMax. That store closed in 1999 and is now a Fred's discount store.

4000 block of Forsyth Road RIVOLI CROSSING SHOPPING CENTER (1980's)-Closed in 1991, is now a Stein Mart clothing store

Emery Hwy (1950's-1980's) Closed, now Family Dollar

Gray Hwy (1980's) shared shopping center with Wal-mart, store closed as FoodMax within weeks of a new Wal-Mart supercenter being built across the street in 2000

Shurlington Drive Plaza (1960's) OPEN

Columbus Road (1980's) was built as FoodMax, now has Piggly Wiggly name

Napier Avenue NAPIER SQUARE: Was said to be the oldest Piggly Wiggly in Macon when it closed in 1999. The store was opened in the mid 1940's (and looked every bit of it....this was not a pretty store). This store was re-opened as a Save-A-Lot in 2001 and is the only grocery store in this low income neighborhood.

Eisenhower Parkway and Pio Nono Avenue: This store took over a vacant former Table Supply (Winn Dixie) store on the SE corner as a FoodMax. Still open now as Piggly Wiggly

Eisenhower Parkway and Log Cabin Drive: this is 2 miles west of the previous store mentioned above. Built in the early 1980's and closed as a Piggly Wiggly in 1998. Remains vacant today.

Rocky Creek road and Pio Nono Avenue (1950's) closed and moved across street around 1980 in new Rocky Creek Plaza shopping center. Old location was later a Family Dollar. Building now vacant

ROCKY CREEK PLAZA, Piggly Wiggly moved from across street in new shopping center in 1980. was a 24 hour store turned into Foodmax in 1998 and back into Piggly Wiggly in 2005. FYI: Family Dollar that occupied former Piggly Wiggly across street now occupies former Eckerd's next to current Piggly Wiggly.

WARNER ROBINS, GEORGIA

North Davis Drive (1950's vintage) closed in late 1980's. Was Badcock furnature and currently is MAXWAY discount store.

2200 block of Moody Road- former Piggly Wiggly closed in 1998 is now Goodwill store

700 block of Russell Parkway Opened as Piggly Wiggly in 1980, closed as FoodMax in 2005 when Bruno's/Ahold could not find a buyer for the location which competes with two Krogers, Publix and two Wal-Marts, all within a 3 mile radius. Store is currently vacant

North Houston Road-3 buildings on corner: (1960's) In shopping center next to Zayre on NE corner. was a "Drugs 4 Less", then CVS Pharmacy, Now a Save-A-Lot store

Closed and moved across the street-Opened as Food World in 1980's on NW corner. This was later BIG LOTS and is now vacant.

FOODMAX was built free standing next to the former FoodWorld in the early 1990's and was renamed Piggly Wiggly in 2005

FORSYTH, GEORGIA Piggly Wiggly (1970's vintage) was closed around 2000. Now Freshway Market. Former independant a mile away assumed Piggly Wiggly franchise for 5 years. The independent store is now closed.
Forsyth, Ga has a large Ingles market that has run the other stores in this small town out of business.

FORT VALLEY, GEORGIA Piggly Wiggly (1970's vintage) was identical to the one in Forsyth Georgia. It was also one of only three markets in this small town. The store closed as a Food Max in 2005 when Bruno's/Ahold was not able to find a buyer for the location. Store is vacant

PERRY GEORGIA has two Piggly Wiggly's. One was on North Main Street and the other less than 2 miles away on US-41 north. The US41 location closed in the 1990's and has remained vacant ever since. The other location was sold to Harvey's Supermarkets around 1999 and is open as Harveys.

Other towns with PIGGLY WIGGLY stores under this same ownership group include Cochran, (former BI-LO), Eastman, Hawkinsville (closed), Milledgeville (2) and Eatonton (closed). And SOUTHERN FAMILY MARKET stores in Dublin (2) and East Dublin. Each of these were named FoodMax for a while before being renamed Piggly Wiggly. The "Southern Family" stores were named so because of competition with other Piggly Wiggly franchises in the area.

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Groceteria
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Post by Groceteria » 09 Apr 2006 23:57

Absolutely amazing. Thanks!

noseriously

Post by noseriously » 12 Apr 2006 06:29

I might have some photos as well. I was the RE Director for PW for a while and have a box of slides somewhere. Great write-up.

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Post by Swifty » 18 Apr 2006 22:15

In Fort Valley, there is a small Harvey's grocery store (owned by the Delhaize group) in what appears to be an old Piggly Wiggly location.

Up the street about a mile is the former Foodmax location which has been vacant for a few years.

Harveys is moving into the larger Foodmax location.

Edric Floyd
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Post by Edric Floyd » 18 Apr 2006 23:40

Swifty wrote:In Fort Valley, there is a small Harvey's grocery store (owned by the Delhaize group) in what appears to be an old Piggly Wiggly location.

Up the street about a mile is the former Foodmax location which has been vacant for a few years.

Harveys is moving into the larger Foodmax location.
Actually the former FoodMax location was a Piggly Wiggly until Brunos (ahold) turned the Piggly Wiggly's into FoodMax stores around 1997.

The Ft. Valley FoodMax closed in the summer of 2005 as the Foodmax stores were being sold to Southern Family foods (which returned the Piggly Wiggly name to Central Georgia). The Fort Valley store was one of a few that Brunos could not sell and they were closed instead. Now Foodmax ceases to exist.

Harvey's moved into a vacant store in the mid 1990's as the third supermarket in the town. The former Foodmax location is larger, so moving Harvey's there is a good thing!

But honestly, Peach County residents frequently drive to neighboring Houston County for lower prices at places like Wal-Mart, Kroger and Food Lion (which is much cheaper than co-owned Harveys)

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Post by Paper or Plastic » 19 Apr 2006 17:52

I remember going to the Piggly Wiggly in the Winsor Park area of Columbus back in the late 70's. It still had a Coke bottle return rack out front!

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Re: Macon Georgia area History (Piggly Wiggly)

Post by Edric Floyd » 17 May 2008 13:28

The former PIGGLY WIGGLY at Eisenhower Parkway and Pio Nono Avenue in Macon Georgia.
Showing minor damage from a tornado that hit the area on 5/11/2008.

It is the least of the local damage. A Tire store next door was destroyed and a vacant former Home Depot (across the street) and the oldest original Krispy Kreme operating in GA (one block south) suffered heavy damage.

Image


This store was mentioned in this thread.

It was built by Winn Dixie as a TABLE SUPPLY store in 1985 and closed when Winn Dixie closed their stores in the city of Macon. Later this store was a FoodMAX store under the ownership of Brunos/Bi-Lo (Ahold) and finally became a PIGGLY WIGGLY store in late 2005 under the ownership of Southern Family Markets (C&S Wholesale).

The store closed in late 2006 barely a year under the Piggly Wiggly banner. It was always an "under performing" store despite being the ONLY grocery store within 2 miles in either direction and serving an extremely low income area.

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Re: Macon Georgia area History (Piggly Wiggly)

Post by Edric Floyd » 04 Nov 2008 12:34

Update on two locations mentioned earlier in this thread. The former PW in the message above is in the exact condition 6 months after I posted that photo. Still vacant and still showing its storm damage from the Mother's day tornado that hit Macon Georgia. While its neighboring PEP BOYS and Krispy Kreme have repaired their storm damage and are open and debris from the other damaged buildings surrounding this store have been cleared. Nothing has been done to this store.


And in my original post I identified a Piggly Wiggly at 4000 Forsyth Road that closed in 1991 and became a SteinMart. That building was recently renovated with SteinMart keeping one half and THE FRESH MARKET moving into the other half. So this means a return to grocery shopping (gourmet style) to this location. The building now bears absolutely no resemblence to its former supermarket.

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Re: Macon Georgia area History (Piggly Wiggly)

Post by EDEW » 01 Jul 2009 14:37

Piggly Wiggly in Macon is a hard item to tackle because of the changes after the 1980's, but Edric's core examples are correct.

Piggly Wiggly has been in Macon since 1919. Clarence Saunders actually came to macon and persuaded 6 grocers to convert to self service operations. These 6 stores would convert over and become the core for piggly wiggly for many years

In fact, piggly wiggly has been so sucessful that from 1920-1984 no other grocer held the #1 spot in sales in this area.

Piggly Wiggly was actually a innovator in Macon, bringing the first superstore, the first in store pharmacies and the first deli-bakeries in the area, Not the small time operations that are thought of in rural areas.

we will start location count in the 1960's

WESTGATE VINEVILLE
BACONSFIELD* PIERCE AVE
BROADWAY* PIO NO NO PLAZA
NAPIER AVE SHURLINGTON PLAZA

* There was also a store on mulberry st that may have been replaced with one of these.

Westgate was opened in the fall of 1961 with piggly wiggly, colonial, woolworths etc. At the time of construction this was the largest enclosed mall in georgia. (lenox and most other atlanta malls of this period were open air malls.) This location was closed in 1985 when piggly wiggly moved to an old Kroger Superstore @ 2471 pio no no ave next to K-Mart

Broadway was opened in 1951 at the intersection of Broadway and Houston ave. It closed in the early 1970's, the building is currently a church annex.

Napier Ave store: Was originally where family dollar now sits, If you look at the front of the building you can tell. In 1973, the napier square shopping center was built on the surrounding land, and a new building was built behind that store, made to look retro.

Shurlington plaza was opened sometime in the 1950's, piggly wiggly has actually had 3 locations in this center. The first one is where family dollar currently sits. In 1975, when A&P closed in this center, Piggly Wiggly took over their building, which was torn down in 1990 to build a larger store and name it Foodmax. It has been a piggly wiggly since 2005.

Northeast plaza was opened in 1972 on the corner of shurling dr and gray hwy. This store was the first piggly wiggly with a seafood dept. (No deli-bakery until 1980's).

Bloomfield Village was opened in 1975 with the opening of the Macon Mall. It would be considered the first superstore in terms of size and offerings. Kroger expanded the store in K-mart plaza into a superstore, as well as opening a new one on emory hwy, but they only offered deli-bakery. This Piggly Wiggly offered a sit in deli, a bakery, a floral shop and an in store pharmacy. This piggly wiggly would close and move up the hill in the same plaza in 1988.

Northside Drive would open in 1978. It was not quite as large as Bloomfield Village, and this might come to a shocker, but at the time, Bloomfield was the "in" place to be and not North Macon. This store would offer the same assortment as Northeast Plaza.

Will tackle the Brunos/Adhold section at a later time.
Last edited by EDEW on 13 Oct 2009 18:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Macon Georgia area History (Piggly Wiggly)

Post by EDEW » 01 Jul 2009 14:44

Oh, i forgot to talk about the Riverside K-Mart Piggly Wiggly. K-mart opened a store on riverside dr in 1968 with an attatched K-mart foods. When K-mart foods disbanded, Piggly Wiggly opened there (late 1975 to early 1976). There is no documentation to prove that Alterman or Colonial operated this store, and the location never was converted to their namesake stores, It was a Piggly Wiggly from the K-Mart Food name change until 1991 when K-mart closed in the center. Could it be that Piggly Wiggly originally ran this location in Macon?

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