Memphis Real Estate Irony: A. Schwab and Piggly Wiggly

After 135 years of family ownership, Downtown Memphis institution A. Schwab has been purchased a group of investors led by Terry Saunders and other Saunders family members of Piggly Wiggly heritage.

The buyers gained rights to the store, including the real estate at 163 Beale St. and 165 Beale St.

Clarence Saunders founded Piggly Wiggly – the first self-service supermarket – in Memphis in 1916. Today, many of Piggly Wiggly’s stores have been converted to other grocers and uses, but the legacy of Saunder’s entrepreneurial spirit remains.

Coincidently, one of the A. Schwab buildings housed a Piggly Wiggly store in the 1920’s. And while A. Schwab has traded hands, the new owners hope to live up to a similar standard – the same nostalgic feel, but with more selection, art and music that reflects the store’s history and funky vibe.