Save-A-Lot buys 'The Pig' site

September 08, 2003|JENNIFER BRUMMETT

The impending end of an era will mark a new beginning for the grocery business in Danville, when Piggly Wiggly closes this winter and Save-A-Lot reopens in its location in spring 2004.

Gary Richards, president of Saver Group Inc., which owns Save-A-Lot, and a partner in CC & R Properties LLC, this morning confirmed the entire shopping center where Piggly Wiggly sits was bought by CC & R Properties of Campbellsville, and Save-A-Lot will move into the Piggly Wiggly facility next year. Richards also said Save-A-Lot will remain in its current location while the remodeling of the Piggly Wiggly building is done. The deal was finalized Friday.

"For years, we've wanted to move our location," Richards said of Save-A-Lot's current site. "The old location we have downtown is outdated and too small. There was a strong need to relocate to a larger store where we can have a more modern facility and are able to serve our wonderful customers."


Richards added that Saver Group Inc. wanted to continue to serve the downtown customers, and purchasing the Piggly Wiggly site allowed for that. He noted that the rest of the shopping center where Piggly Wiggly is located will stay the same.

"We'll probably be doing facelifts, so to speak," Richards said. "But the good tenants that are there, we certainly want them to remain."

Richards credited the Richardson family, long-time owners of Piggly Wiggly, for being forward-thinking when it looked like Piggly Wiggly would close.

"I want to say what a pleasure it's been to work with the Richardson family during this transaction," Richards said. "The Richardson family has served the community there for right at 70 years.

"I just want to say something about the many good years the Richardsons served (Danville) - they've just been outstanding for the community, and they should be recognized for that."

Preston Richardson of Piggly Wiggly said Friday's transaction represented an opportunity both for the Richardsons and Saver Group.

"It happened very quickly, but it was an opportunity for us and we took advantage of it," Richardson said.

He confirmed that Piggly Wiggly would be open through the holidays.

Richards said Piggly Wiggly's wholesaler, Fleming Company, which also serves Kmarts across the nation, went broke. According to, Fleming Company announced April 3 that "it and its operating subsidiaries filed for voluntary reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code."

"That's what made it difficult for the Richardsons," Richards noted. "It put them behind the eight-ball, and that's what started this thing. But also, it's a wonderful thing that we be able to serve the community in a better facility.

"They wanted to do this. They felt it would be a strong benefit for the community. It gives them the opportunity to kind of take a not so good situation and turn it into a positive situation. They're wonderful people."

Richards also gave credit to Buddy Edwards for a smooth transaction.

"He's the realtor that worked this deal out for us," Richards said.

"He did a good job working with the Richardsons and working with us. He was instrumental in making this happen for both parties."

The building and lot where Save-A-Lot now operates downtown is owned by the city of Danville.

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