It has been in the works for months now and known by the public for weeks, but the physical transformation was very clear at the local Piggly Wiggly stores on Monday, as all three Clinton locations and a fourth in Roseboro were being officially switched over to Carlie C’s IGA.
As of Monday afternoon, the Clinton stores were in various phases of that transformation, with the original Piggly Wiggly location at Jordan Shopping Plaza leading the charge. Large letters were taken down Monday morning and by Monday afternoon the new Carlie C’s letters were being prepped for placement. A Carlie C’s IGA banner was also placed over the familiar Piggly Wiggly canopy at the former “Big Pig.”
Meanwhile, the marquee at the College Street location was changed in quick order and the location at Shamrock Plaza off Sunset Avenue was also set to receive attention. All will be Carlie C’s IGA, along with the former Piggly Wiggly store on N.C. 24 (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) in Roseboro.
The sale of the four stores was announced last month. The conversion to Carlie C’s was underway starting on the interior of the stores Sunday evening. The facades began their transformation first thing Monday.
A letter signed by Michael Lindsay, president of Paramount Foods (Piggly Wiggly), and Mack McLamb, president of Promise Foods Inc. (Carlie C’s) was on display at the entrances to the stores, thanking customers for their loyalty to the Lindsay family and Piggly Wiggly over the past decades and reminding them of the purchase of the stores by the parent company of Carlie C’s. The sale was first announced March 17.
Customers were informed that the stores would be closing at 6 p.m. Sunday to be converted to Carlie C’s IGA on Monday. The stores opened at regular hours Monday. The transition, currently taking shape, will be ongoing. A message left for Carlie C’s IGA public relations personnel concerning the specifics on the move was not immediately returned Monday.
“During the next few months, Carlie C’s will be adding variety, adjusting assortment and making capital improvements,” the letter tells customers. “In addition, Carlie C’s will be lowering thousands of prices.”
The letter encourages customers to let managers on duty know what items they would like to see in the stores.
In its March announcement of the sale, Paramount leadership said many factors went into the decision, made only “after careful consideration and strategic market review.” They noted at the time that “Promise Foods plans to continue to operate as Piggly Wiggly subject to franchise approval.”
However, that franchise approval was not granted, spelling the end of Piggly Wiggly stores in Clinton and Roseboro. With the conversion to Carlie C’s, the only Piggly Wiggly location in Sampson is in Garland. The sale also marked the close of a signficant chapter of Lindsay family ownership of Piggly Wiggly franchises locally.
Jesse and Elmon Lindsay, along with Moses King, opened the Piggly Wiggly at Jordan Plaza, the first of several Piggly Wiggly grocery stores they would operate in the area. They were working at the Colonial Store on College Street when businessman Billy Ray Jordan approached them about operating a grocery store. They built the first store on the land owned by the Jordan family and went on to establish two more in Clinton — on College Street and off Sunset Avenue — and the other in Roseboro.
Jesse Lindsay served as president of Paramount Foods, with ownership staying with son Michael following Jesse’s death in February 2012. Elmon passed away two years later, in February 2014.
In the joint statement to customers, the presidents said that, regardless of the conversion, the foundation of quality customer service would remain the same.
“We anticipate that most all of the staff that has serviced you for decades will continue to provide you great service in the future with Carlie C’s,” the missive to customers concludes. “Carlie C’s IGA, like the Lindsay family and Piggly Wiggly, desires to be a partner in this community and looks forward to serving you for many years to come.”
The first weekly advertising for Carlie C’s will begin on Wednesday and run through Tuesday, April 18, in time for Easter. The weekly advertised special will be effective from Wednesday through Tuesday and can be found in the Sampson Independent and online at www.carliecs.com on a weekly basis.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.