Kenosha Piggly Wiggly store to be sold to franchisee

Sheboygan-based Piggly Wiggly Midwest LLC plans to sell the Piggly Wiggly grocery store at 2215 S. 80th St. in Kenosha to Stinebrink’s Piggly Wiggly.

The store will remain open and it will remain a Piggly Wiggly store. The sale will take place on March 15.

“It’s a nice little neighborhood grocery store,” said Jeremy Nafziger, store manager for the Stinebrink’s Piggly Wiggly store at 7600 Pershing Blvd. in Kenosha. Steinbrink’s also owns Piggly Wiggly stores in Delavan and Lake Geneva.

The 80th Street store currently has 46 employees who are represented by Untied Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local No. 1473. The employees will be given the opportunity to re-apply for their jobs, Nafziger said.

“I’m sure we’ll keep some of the employees,” he said. “It’s just a matter of going through the interview process and selecting the people.”

Piggly Wiggly Midwest LLC owns the rights to the Piggly Wiggly brand in Wisconsin and Illinois. There are 99 Piggly Wiggly stores in Wisconsin and six in Illinois. Of those 105 stores only 12 are owned by Piggly Wiggly Midwest. The others are owned by franchisees like Stinebrink’s.

In recent years Piggly Wiggly Midwest has sold several of its stores to franchisees, said chief operating officer Gary Suokko.

“Our strategy (in recent years) has been to focus on serving the franchisees’ needs,” he said. “We’ve been putting more of our efforts at the wholesale level and serving the franchisees, rather than running the corporate stores ourselves.”

However, the company wants to retain ownership of some of its stores to try out new concepts before bringing those concepts to the franchisee-owned stores, Suokko said.

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