JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Piggly Wiggly Corp., a national grocery chain founded in Memphis, Tenn., 66 years ago, is going to move its headquarters back to Memphis under new owners, it was reported Tuesday.
A Memphis wholesale grocery distributor, Malone & Hyde Inc., purchased the firm from Radford and William Lovett, of Jacksonville, brothers who inherited the business from their father, William R. Lovett.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
'I would assume it was one hell of a lot of money,' Piggly Wiggly spokesman Ed Mathews said, noting that Malone & Hyde expects to make $3 million annually from the Piggly Wiggly operation.
Most of the company's key executives will move to Memphis, Mathews said. Target date for the move is Aug. 1.
Piggly Wiggly provides its franchised name and support services to some 950 independent grocers from Orlando, Fla., to Tacoma, Wash.
Malone & Hyde is the third largest provider of wholesale food and services in the United States, supplying about 2,200 independent grocers.
Clarence Saunders, a wholesale grocery salesman, founded Piggly Wiggly in 1916. The origin of the name is unknown, but one theory says it originated with the nursery rhyme: 'This little piggy went to market.'