Another grocery store switching to Piggly Wiggly franchise

Mark and Brett Stinebrink will convert the Pick ‘n Save store they own in Lake Geneva, into a Piggly Wiggly store.

Mark and Brett Stinebrink will convert the Pick ‘n Save store they own at 100 E. Geneva St., Lake Geneva, into a Piggly Wiggly store. They also plan to take over the operations of the Piggly Wiggly store at 1414 E. Geneva St. in Delavan. They will also close the Pick ‘n Save store they own at 207 S. Wright St. in Delavan.

The changes will be effective on Nov. 2.

"We are excited to bring the Piggly Wiggly product and value to Lake Geneva and we believe the move in Delavan will allow us to strengthen our commitment to Delavan and provide the city’s shoppers with a far better shopping experience," said Mark Steinbrink. "Our customers are going to love the values in the weekly ad flyer as well as the quality bakery, deli, produce and meat products."

The Lake Geneva store is the second southeastern Wisconsin grocery store to be converted to a Piggly Wiggly store in recent months. Jim and Judy Semrad, who have owned the Sentry grocery store at W189 S7847 Racine Ave. in Muskego since it was built in 1995, have become Piggy Wiggly franchisees and recently converted the store to a Piggly Wiggly store.

The Piggly Wiggly chain is owned by Sheboygan-based Fresh Brands Distributing Inc. A few years ago, Fresh Brands was a struggling publicly held company. Several Piggly Wiggly stores were closed, including one on the east side of Muskego. Fresh Brands went private in 2006, and last year, chief executive officer Paul Butera bought out the other owners of the company to gain sole control.

Now the company is growing again, Jim Semrad said. “They’ve really turned everything around,” he said.

Piggy Wiggly and Sentry, owned by Eden Prairie, Minn.-based SuperValu Inc., have similar food quality, but Fresh Brands reduced its wholesale prices to help its retail franchisees, Semrad said. Therefore, he will be able to sell groceries at lower prices as a Piggly Wiggly store than as a Sentry store. So far customers are appreciative, Semrad said.

“Since (the change to Piggly Wiggly) we’ve been booming,” he said.

There are fewer than 30 Sentry stores in the state now, compared with 94 Piggly Wiggly stores Wisconsin and northern Illinois, giving Fresh Brands stronger buying power, Semrad said.

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