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New Milton Piggly Wiggly celebrates grand opening

May. 09, 2013 @ 06:57 AM

MILTON -- Piggly Wiggly celebrated its grand opening Wednesday in Perry Morris Square with a ribbon-cutting, free cake and hot dogs, drawings and giveaways -- including gift certificates and a whole hog, cut and wrapped for the freezer.

Formerly a Foodland grocery store, Piggly Wiggly has been in operation in Milton since April 14, said Steve Johnson, who co-owns the store with his brother, Marty. It's the first Piggly Wiggly in West Virginia, with 600 to 700 stores elsewhere throughout the country.

That includes Myrtle Beach, S.C., where many West Virginians vacation, Steve Johnson said. So it opens in Milton with some built-in familiarity and brand loyalty from the customers, he said.

"People seem to be really excited," he said. "I've had so many calls from people who went to Piggly Wiggly at Myrtle Beach and asked if we could get it. We're very encouraged by feedback from our customer basis."

The Johnsons -- who as a family have owned grocery stores in Milton since 1971 -- were attracted to the Piggly Wiggly chain because it offered expanded varieties in all departments and because, with several hundred stores nationally, it's given them more buying power.

"It's a lot more competitive. Plus, they have 500 Piggly Wiggly brand items that are priced right and very good quality," Steve Johnson said. "It's better pricing and better variety and we have a tremendous produce and meat and bakery department. Not to toot our horn, but the quality has really improved."

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