Piggly Wiggly store to replace Walmart Marketplace in Oriental

ORIENTAL, N.C. (WNCT) — Piggly Wiggly is coming to Oriental in June. Grantsboro Piggly Wiggly store owner Billy Flockhart says Walmart accepted his bid on the closed Walmart Express building Tuesday. The Walmart closed in January after only 20 months of business in the coastal community. The chain store put another locally owned grocery store, Town N’ Country, out of businesses a few months prior to its closing, leaving the town without a grocery store.

Flockhart says he has been working with Walmart to provide for the community since the store closed. He is now looking to hire a pharmacist to provide medication at the new store. He says it’s been a team effort with his current employees at the Grantsboro store to open the new location. Flockhart says that 22 to 25 people will be hired to work at the store.

Oriental Mayor Pro Tem Barb Venturi says residents are affectionately calling the new store “Piglet” since it will be a smaller version of the typical Piggly Wiggly store. Venturi says as of Tuesday, Walmart had not mentioned any sale to the town but the community is excited about what they’re hearing from Flockhart.

Venturi says the town was told that Walmart usually does not sell one building. Rather, the work to sell groups of closed stores. She hopes this sale is a demonstration of the big box store working to improve the communities that were damaged when their stores closed across the country.

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