Piggly Wiggly is quickly fading from much of the Charleston area.
The Charleston-based supermarket chain is closing another store. This time it’s the anchor tenant in the sprawling Festival Centre shopping center in North Charleston, at the heavily traveled juncture of Ashley Phosphate and Dorchester roads.
Company spokesman Christopher Ibsen said the closing date hasn’t been determined for the 31,920-square-foot store. Employees say the last day is Oct. 19.
The 25-year-old corporate-owned store is at the end of its lease, Ibsen said. It opened in 1988. The Festival Centre store closing follows last week’s disclosure that the longtime Northbridge Piggly Wiggly off Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in West Ashley is going dark, as well. No date has been announced for that store’s last day.
“The dates have a degree of fluidity,” Ibsen said.
Asked if other Piggly Wiggly locations have been identified for closure, he responded, “There are no other announcements planned.”
“I think it’s sad,” said Jennifer White as she shopped in the Festival Centre store Thursday. “I like the laid-back atmosphere of Piggly Wiggly. It’s like the Old South.”
Sharon Taylor of North Charleston echoed her remarks, and added, “Everybody is friendly, and they help you when you need help.”
Longtime Piggly Wiggly customer Gary Lang of Summerville also lamented the closing.
“I’m gonna miss it,” he said. “They always work with me as far as getting me what I need.”
The move to shut down two Piggly Wiggly supermarkets comes just days after Piggly Wiggly Carolina announced it will sell 22 corporate-owned stores to Bi-Lo and seven others to Harris Teeter, many of them in the Charleston market.
The changeovers to the newly branded stores will occur over the next month or so.
The store sales and closings will mean the closest Piggly Wiggly to downtown Charleston will be off Rivers Avenue near Otranto Road in North Charleston.
The company will maintain three other corporate-owned stores in Hollywood, Moncks Corner and St. George in the three-county area. It also owns Price Wise Foods in Hanahan.
After the Festival Centre and Northbridge supermarkets close and the 29 others are sold, Piggly Wiggly will be left with 25 company-owned namesake stores in South Carolina and coastal Georgia, two corporate-owned Price Wise stores and 29 independently owned Piggly Wiggly stores. The two Mr. K’s stores in Summerville are independently owned. They are served by Piggly Wiggly.