Two Racine Piggly Wiggly stores to be sold

Sheboygan-based Piggly Wiggly Midwest LLC informed the state Department of Workforce Development that it plans to sell the Piggly Wiggly stores at 3900 Erie St., Raince, and at 5201 Washington Ave., Racine, to franchisees. The company also plans to sell a store in Oshkosh to a franchisee. The sales are expected to close on May 21.

In recent years the company has been gradually selling its corporate owned stores to franchisees. After the two Racine stores and the Oshkosh store are sold 82 of the 101 Piggly Wiggly Midwest stores will be owned by franchisees, 19 will be owned by the company.

"Our goal is to focus on wholesale and not on owning company stores," said Piggly Wiggly Midwest chief operating officer Gary Suokko.

Suokko declined to name the franchisees that are purchasing the Racine stores.

"They are experienced grocers," he said. However, they do not own any other grocery stores, Suokko said.

The two Racine stores have a total of 158 employees. The employees are unionized and their contracts will not be valid with the new owners. The workers and the new owners will have to work out a new contract, Suokko said.

"That’s up to the new owners," he said.

Employees at the two Racine stores will have the option of transfering to the two other Racine Piggly Wiggly stores, which are still owned by the company, Suokko said.

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