Supercenter won’t kill all

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 21, 2004

DEMOPOLIS-James Reed, manager of Piggly Wiggly said the incoming Wal-Mart SuperCenter will hurt all the grocery stores in Demopolis, but he feels it won’t kill them all, well at least not his store.

“I told the owner about the incoming SuperCenter,” Reed said, “And he replied, they (Wal-Mart) are going to shut down Food World, and we’ll go over there and get that building for cheap rent.”

Over his 25 years in the grocery business, he has seen many SuperCenters come and go and he said it always hurts business for at least four-six weeks before it starts to level out. The Wal-Mart SuperCenter is the “Ultimate store” for customers, but it is also the ultimate deceiver.

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“From the grocery magazines that I receive, usually when a SuperCenter comes to town they claim about 30-40 percent of the other stores business,” Reed said.

A lot of shoppers come up to me in the store and say they bring a $100 in the store and they get $100 worth of groceries, he said. But in Wal-Mart, they can bring $100 in and leave with about $40 worth of groceries because of all the impulse buying that occurs.

“Every grocery store has high prices, match prices, and low prices,” Reed said, “But people get so excited about the low prices of products that they think the groceries must be cheap too.”

With all that said, the Piggly Wiggly would take its lumps from this new SuperCenter, but keep on fighting to provide the residents of Demopolis with quality food at low prices, he said. The store is in the moneymaking business and the prices are set to help pay the bills, but there are no silly gimmicks at our store, unlike other businesses in Demopolis.

“The competition will be good for the area,” Reed said, “But we’re excited about the announcement because we’re a single owned individual store and we’ll try to put the best prices possible.”

It’s growth plan and simple, even if they are competition for Piggly Wiggly and any growth for the city is positive growth. Bruno’s was contacted for comments about Food World for this article, but a phone call was not returned.

Four residents as they exited the local grocery stores Piggly Wiggly and Food World with plastic bags in hand talk about their excitement and their plans of shopping for groceries once a third major grocery provider locates within the City of Demopolis.

Joseph Morgan, while leaving Piggly Wiggly with a sac full of groceries said he would be glad to see some more competition around the area. The prices of groceries around here are pretty good right now, but it should be a lot better once the SuperCenter gets here.

“I frequent Food World and Piggly Wiggly all the time for groceries, but it will be nice to have some lower prices,” Morgan said.

Martha Foster, also leaving Piggly Wiggly said she can’t stand Food World’s prices and that’s why she shops at Piggly Wiggly. Maybe once the SuperCenter gets here the prices would level out some at all the stores.

“I really like the prices at Piggly Wiggly, but maybe they will continue to lower once the new competition arrives,” Foster said.

Perry Kirk, while leaving Food World said he likes Food World’s selection of items compared to the other grocery stores around town. They always have the freshest produce and things, but the SuperCenter sure sounds nice.

“The selection is what brings me to Food World, but the new SuperCenter will offer what they have and a lot more,” Kirk said.

Mary Johnson, also leaving Food World said she just came here to buy a couple of things because she does all her shopping in Thomasville.

Hopefully the new SuperCenter will keep me from driving to Thomasville every other week.

“I’m really looking forward to having a SuperCenter closer to Demopolis because I’m getting tired of driving to Thomasville,” Johnson said.