31ST JULY 2011

Safeway Stores started in Los Angeles a few years before World War One as the Sam Seelig Company. The modern Safeway was created when Seelig merged with Skaggs’ Cash Stores in 1926.

In 1928 the company acquired the west coast Piggly Wiggly stores and the following year the first Safeway store opened in Canada. The Piggly Wiggly name survived until the 1930s when all stores came under the Safeway banner.


Pictured above, the original Safeway store in the 2900 block of Granville before renovation as the new Piggly Wiggly.


Crescent Court at 14th & Granville was designed in 1912 by Braunton and Leibert for J.C. Marshall. The architects were known for many fine buildings but liked this design well enough to copy it for their design of the Astoria Hotel on East Hastings at Hawks Avenue. The storefront was home for many years to a Piggly Wiggly self-serve supermarket.


Piggly Wiggly was founded in Memphis, Tennessee in 1916 by Clarence Saunders. Until Saunders’ invention of self service shopping you presented your shopping list to a clerk who would then run about gathering the requested items from the shelves. Saunders’ innovations included checkout stands, marking the price on each item and using refrigerated cases for produce.