Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Celebrating Five Years of The Mid-South Retail Blog!

Hard to believe it's been this long already, but today marks the Mid-South Retail Blog's fifth anniversary! Many thanks go out, as always, to our dedicated readers, as well as the new visitors and the casual checker-inners. Every single one of you who takes the time out of your day to read something I wrote and/or published on this website means a whole lot to me, and I sincerely appreciate it. Please keep coming back, and if you know others who would be interested in reading this or any other retail blog listed on the sidebar, consider referring them as well!

Our top five posts remain the same as ever - somewhat disappointingly, lol - so I'm not even going to list them out this year. Our pageviews are fairly steady as well; between 2018 and 2019 that stat increased by approximately 16,000, and that's close to the same for this past year as well, where we grew from 76,616 on March 17th, 2019, to 94,043 today (an increase of 17,427). Remember, I've got a special 100,000 pageviews celebration post in the pipeline, so the sooner y'all can get the blog to that milestone, the sooner you'll get to see some really cool stuff!! (I can't guarantee the post will go up at the exact moment we break 100K, of course. It might even go up before then, or worst case scenario, a little while after. But the thought still counts.)

I love reading and responding to your comments - those might mean even more to me than your readership itself - so please, keep 'em coming as we plow forward into 2020. I also love getting to feature your contributor posts, so if you ever have any text and/or images to share (or heck, just want to chat about retail!), don't hesitate to email me at midsouthretailblog [at] gmail [dot] com. If you have any feedback for me about anything you've read on the blog, or about the website itself, feel free to share that with me, too.

Perhaps the blog's crowning achievement in 2019 was being contacted for an interview with The Daily Memphian, for a feature written by Wayne Risher chronicling "The rise and fall of Coldwater's pride, Fred's Inc." (which you can check out here). A large part of what I try to accomplish with this blog is the documentation of retail history, either that which has been lost to time already or (as in the case of Fred's) that which is disappearing before our very eyes. To that end, we had a lot of additions to our ongoing "Lost Histories" series last year, including the debut of a new "Broken Chains Edition" subseries inspired by the separate blog of the same name. More of those, of course, will be coming your way in the future, alongside plenty of Fred's posts as well.

Besides that, we also broke 100 posts last year, plus we introduced a new logo which expands our coverage horizon beyond the counties featured in our previous logo. In the future, I hope to feature more content from other parts of my home state of Mississippi, specifically the capitol region. So while the Memphis metro area is still the heart of the Mid-South, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to expand our focus to include the entirety of the states of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. And with our "Beyond the Mid-South" series, of course, the blog is open to anything, anywhere!

I'm going to try something a little different this year and close out this post with a list of all of our posts in 2019, similar to what my friend Albertsons Florida Blog does in his anniversary posts (which this concept was inspired by in the first place). If you recognize some you haven't read and wish to, by all means, please go ahead! And if you recognize some you have read but want to read again, be my guest :)  You are always welcome to explore the blog's entire five-year archive using the handy sidebar features, too.

January 2019
For the Record (...Store)
Contributor Post: Memphis Area 7-Eleven Stores

February 2019
How Goodwill Florida Wound Up in North Mississippi

March 2019
Celebrating Four Years of The Mid-South Retail Blog!
Dirt Cheap (Former Wal-Mart), Batesville, MS

April 2019
Rite Aid Closing, Southaven, MS

May 2019
DeSoto Pointe (Unbuilt Lifestyle Center), Southaven, MS
Broken Chain: Bonanza Steakhouse, Tupelo, MS

June 2019
Rhodes Family Price Chopper, Branson, MO
Fred's Store #1 Closing, Coldwater, MS
JCPenney Closing (Chickasaw Plaza), Blytheville, AR

July 2019
Broken Chain: Danver's Restaurant, Olive Branch, MS
Fred's Flagship Store Closing, Getwell Road Headquarters, Memphis, TN
Contributor Post: Suncoast Motion Picture Company, Lloyd Center, Portland, OR
Fred's Franchise Store Closing, Munford, TN (BONUS: The Final 11 Fred's Franchises)

August 2019
Rite Aid Closing, Germantown, TN

September 2019
McDonald's Express, Quince Road, Memphis, TN

October 2019
What Could Have Been: Fred's Discount Depot, West Memphis, AR (BONUS: "Bluff City Law")
Orange Mound Kroger, and New Blog Logo!

November 2019
O Kroger, Where Art Thou? - Arkansas and Non-Metro TN/KY/MO Listing
O Kroger, Where Art Thou? - Full Delta Division Store List
100 Posts!

December 2019
Rite Aid, Union Avenue, Memphis, TN
Memphis-Area Rite Aid Locations (2018)

Five years, y'all - it's gone by fast, and it's been great fun! I'm looking forward to five more, and then some :)  Again, thanks so much for reading the Mid-South Retail Blog. I've got more great content coming your way soon (both here and on flickr). Until then, and as always, have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Retail Retell

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Fred's Closing, Horn Lake, MS (BONUS: Jitney Jungle in the Mid-South)

Today's post highlights DeSoto County, MS, retail.

It's been a minute since I've shared a Fred's post with y'all! When last we checked in on the southern discount store chain that is now but a memory, Fred's was in its final month of operation, with all retail stores set to close for the final time by the end of October 2019. Since that time, the company has remained active in bankruptcy court as it attempts to dissolve for good.

The Fred's, Inc. bankruptcy court dockets can be accessed at this link. I provide that link as an additional resource in case any of you are interested in finding documentation on the following developments that have taken place between last October and today.

Fred's leased most of its stores, but it did own 56 properties, all of which were sold as a bundle to RA Wilson Enterprises as soon as the stores had closed, with Docket 411 being filed on October 30, 2019. (That docket also provides the full list of those locations, if you're interested. I've included a screenshot of the list below as well.) Similarly, Docket 412 details the sale of Fred's remaining distribution center in Dublin, GA, to Perry Ellis International, Inc.

List of properties owned by Fred's, and sold to RA Wilson Enterprises. By the time all is said and done, six of these locations will have been featured on the blog... Courtesy Epiq

RA Wilson Enterprises is an Arkansas-based company that acts as the exclusive developer for Tractor Supply Co. in the United States. However, not all of the former Fred's buildings purchased by RA Wilson will become Tractor Supply stores; "'Obviously, they [Tractor Supply] don't need some 50-odd stores,' [RA Wilson Enterprises owner Rick] Wilson said, adding that redevelopment plans involve 'other' Fortune 500 companies." Supposedly, those stores were projected to reopen with their new tenants as early as this month (March 2020), although I've yet to personally see or hear any information on that front. Still, you can read what details are available on the purchase and future plans in this article. This separate article also includes information on the brokerage process.

Docket 666 (of all numbers) reveals how Fred's reduced its square footage, and in turn its rent price, at its Lenox Park offices in Memphis, which you'll recall it only began occupying in June 2019, mere months before the bankruptcy. You might think that a bankrupt company no longer has any need for office space, but as I noted above, Fred's is still busy winding down its corporation in bankruptcy court. As the docket states, "[N]ot all wind down is complete. In particular, the Debtors are in the process of attempting to sell their intellectual property, and still have certain other assets that they intend to monetize. In addition, prior to completely winding down their affairs, the Debtors will need to file tax returns for 2018 and 2019, close their books and records, and address certain substantial claims. ... To perform this critical work[,] the Debtors will need to rely on accounting and financial staff (which the debtors estimate to be approximately 20 employees) [who] primarily work out of premises located at 6625 Lenox Park Boulevard" in Memphis. Besides reducing the square footage it occupies in exchange for rent reductions, Fred's also shortened its lease term, which will now end on June 30, 2020. (Originally, they had signed a lease running through July of 2022. How optimistic of them.)

Finally, speaking of intellectual property, Fred's managed to sell that, too - to an outfit known as International Enterprises, Inc., for which there is practically zero information to be found online besides the CFO's name (William S. Rudner) and the fact that they are based in Ohio. In a sad reflection on the company, this no-name buyer was in fact the only bidder for all of the Fred's IP, spending a mere $75,000 on the purchase. In what application(s) they intend to use the IP in the future, if any, beats me. Details on this can be found in Docket 782.

There is also, of course, the matter of what has actually been happening to all the Fred's stores themselves. Besides the 56 sold to RA Wilson Enterprises, there were scores of additional locations only leased by Fred's, not owned, and which are now also awaiting new occupants. In my last Fred's post from October, I listed out several examples of new tenants taking over former Fred's buildings, many of them interesting, others unexpected, but all good uses (especially since here in DeSoto County, all of ours currently remain vacant). Over these past several months I've been keeping tabs on announcements of who is taking over all these individual properties, and there's quite a wide variety. I've been saving all the articles related thereto as bookmarks on my phone, but as you can imagine, I have an endless array of retail-related bookmarks clogging up my browser, and for the sake of time I don't really feel like digging through every single one of them right now just to list out a bunch of new owners of past Fred's buildings. (You probably don't care to read a laundry list of new lives for old Fred's either, so that works out for the both of us.)

That said, there are a small, select number that I feel are worth mentioning. In that October post, I noted that Roses Express seems to be a good spiritual successor to Fred's, not only because its merchandise is similar but also because its current CEO used to hold that position at Fred's back before its downhill spiral. Well, seven Roses Express stores held grand openings just three days ago - February 27, 2020 - and six of them are sites of former Fred's. Hopefully this is a sign of more to come.

Roses Express in the former Fred's in Monroe, LA. Note the reuse of the old Fred's signframe. Courtesy The News Star

The other location I would like to highlight is the Fred's in New Albany, MS, the town which served as home to the very first store ever to operate under the Fred's banner. (Remember, the company went under a different name between its founding in Coldwater in 1947 and the debut of the Fred's branding in 1954.) While Fred's final building in New Albany is likely not the one they started out in back in 1954, there is still a special significance of New Albany to Fred's legacy. After the New Albany Fred's closed last September, city officials began exploring the possibility of purchasing the building and converting it for use as a municipal services building, housing "offices for the city light, gas and water department, the police department and a municipal courtroom." A sale was almost consummated in early October, but due to certain language included in the sale draft, and the fact that Fred's froze its real estate transactions as it began liquidating all of its remaining stores, the deal fell through. Then, sadly for the city, the New Albany Fred's was included in the portfolio sale to RA Wilson Enterprises, as "the building [was] apparently one of relatively few actually owned by Fred’s rather than leased." Thankfully, though, as of January 2, 2020, the City of New Albany was able to purchase the building after all. So I guess we know the future tenant of at least one of the RA Wilson-purchased stores!


While Fred's may now be fading into the memories of most of its past shoppers, here at the Mid-South Retail Blog, we'll be keeping the chain alive over the course of the next couple of years as we explore several stores I visited during the liquidation process. In comparison to the total number of Fred's stores which shuttered over multiple successive liquidation rounds last year, the number I visited isn't many, but for blogging purposes, 13 is a whole lot! Again, to avoid inundating you with too many Fred's posts all at once, I'll be structuring the remainder of this series similarly to the Rite Aid posts I've done in the past, with a Fred's post going up every few months, and other, non-related content in-between. Today, we're going back to the very first Fred's closure round and visiting the Fred's in Horn Lake, MS, which closed on May 31, 2019.

If this Fred's looks unusual to you, that's because it is. Instead of occupying a freestanding location like most Fred's stores, this Fred's is located within a shopping center, and with very unassuming storefront signage, no less. (Prior to the swap to the lowercase Fred's logo sign, the old uppercase logo used to be placed right next to the Aaron's signage on the main portion of the facade, which looked a little more stately. But the new sign was moved so that it could be placed above the entrance, which also makes sense, even if it looks a little more awkward and commands less attention.)

The facade itself is left behind by this building's original tenant, Jitney Jungle. For more on them, hang tight!

My visit to this store was impromptu; I had not deliberately planned to visit this location, unlike so many of the other Fred's I had and would wind up visiting throughout 2019. But on this particular day - May 28, 2019 - my car was being serviced, and my mom, who was kind enough to drive me around in the meantime, and I had nothing better to do. So off to Fred's we went. Unintentionally, we happened upon the place with only three days remaining to its closure.

Accordingly, that meant that nearly all of its merchandise was gone. The entire back half of the store was closed off, and there seemed to be little point in the front half remaining accessible either, since its shelves were equally as empty in most spots. What you see in these three images probably represents a good one-third of the merchandise remaining.

In fairness, with only three days left, I shouldn't have expected much more. This is the latest I have visited any liquidation sale, Fred's or otherwise, with the exception of a final day visit to the now-former Cordova Super Target (photos to come, over on flickr). And even that can't be compared to this, since Target store closings don't do storewide liquidation sales.

EDIT: Actually, I lied! I flipped back through some other, unposted Fred's photos, and realized I visited one store on its final day. Guess it didn't leave a big impression on me to forget it like that...

There were three rows of aisles; here, we're looking down the (very tight) actionway between the first and second rows, over toward the store's right-side wall.

Backtracking through that double-wide aisle housing a fair amount of the remaining merchandise, up toward the front end. Groceries occupied the front left corner of the building. In another unusual-for-Fred's move, this store did not have a pharmacy counter. Perhaps that's why it was selected for closure in the earliest liquidation round.

We're not really getting the full picture because the store is so empty, but despite its nondescript exterior, and lack of a pharmacy, this store is actually fairly large for a Fred's. In fact, per the LinkedIn profile of a former manager of this location, the Horn Lake Fred's, at the time, was meant to be a flagship for the chain ("Supervised the setup of new 'flagship' store in Horn Lake, MS and helped train approximately 40 new associates before grand opening in only two weeks.") The large size, as well as the high, open ceilings, may be reflections of this fact. Alas, as we know, the chain would move in a different, more pharmacy-centric direction in later years.

Although it was on most, there was not caution tape on every single aisle, so for these pics you're looking at various angles I was able to capture of the rear of the salesfloor. The last image of the above set looks from the rear back up to the front wall; the high ceilings are particularly noticeable in this pic.

I think this is my first time featuring a photo of the local sports team yard signs available for sale at Fred's stores, but many of the Fred's I visited had them. I tried to photograph these whenever I came across them, so you'll be seeing more on the blog in the future. I thought it was a nice touch that Fred's showed local pride and carried these.

The Home Decor department sign, which we've already seen a lot of in other pictures, is the main focus of this shot looking toward the back of the store. This store would have remodeled to this package at the same time the exterior signage was changed, but I'm not quite sure what the interior would've looked like originally. (I do have an idea, but I'm not 100 percent certain.)

Instead of a full aisle, greeting cards were reduced to their own individual four-sided shelving unit in this store. Not only that, but they looked as if they weren't selling at all, even with a discount of 90 percent off and the store in its final three days. I'm really not sure why greeting cards are always the slowest sellers in liquidations. We always bought a handful at all the Fred's we went to.

The right-side wall of this Fred's, where the wooden flooring is, was home to the apparel department, which was all but wiped out at the time of my visit. The other four shots above take various looks around the back of the store as viewed from the major actionway dividing the regular aisles on the left and apparel on the right, with the stockroom doors in-between.

I probably took a picture of this endcap for the tall vertical "Clearance" sign, but it's also noteworthy for the "Shoe Department" sign affixed to that gooseneck signframe. I can't say that I'm aware of many Fred's stores that sold shoes. That may well have been a benefit of this store's large size, and/or its onetime "flagship" status.

As I said, clothing was pretty well wiped out, and what little floor space did remain occupied was mostly serving as home to fixtures for sale as opposed to apparel. I imagine the jut-out you see in the top pic of the above trio may once have been the fitting rooms.

At the very back right corner of the store, where the wood flooring from apparel ends and some perpendicularly-placed aisles appear, you may have noticed some yellow paint on the walls, which stands out from the plain white color and singular green stripe seen across all the rest of the store. Based on this image from l_dawg2000, it would seem this area was once home to "HomeTown Auto & Hardware," a store-within-a-store concept Fred's started pushing in the mid-2010s. Obviously, it was gone by the time of my visit, but I'm not sure if it survived until the liquidation or if it was ditched even before then.

By the way, l_dawg has albums of many different Fred's stores over on flickr, most of which are locations I did not myself visit. So you can get even more Fred's content if you check out any of these seven albums!

Peering out across the entire salesfloor from the former hardware department in the top view, before taking another look down one of the aisle-dividing actionways in the bottom pic. Again, like the shoe department, it's likely the hardware department made it into this store because of its larger size, not necessarily because it was a high performer (as I have no knowledge of whether or not the latter point is true).

Some clothing did remain for sale, although a majority of it - notwithstanding that neatly-stocked rack visible in the background on the right side of the above picture - was just haphazardly thrown into the two giant bins you see here, forcing customers to dig through them. I did not, but several other shoppers did. At 90 percent off, I suppose I can't blame them!

Despite not having a pharmacy, the front right corner of the store still served as home to the health and beauty department, giving those products primary placement just as they would have received had they been located alongside a pharmacy. These aisles, of course, were majorly wiped out as well.

Some views across the front actionway now. Yes, if I haven't said it already, this place was looking totally decimated. And while that's absolutely a shame, for me it's actually kinda cool to get to feature a store in this state, since it's not something I usually get to photograph. I hope you guys feel the same way looking at these pictures.

Also, per that top image, it appears that there was a regular aisle of greeting cards after all. So that standalone display we saw earlier was *in addition to* this aisle. That's a lot of greeting cards!

These two very dated Fred's gift card examples could be found resting against an endcap along one of the very front aisles. I would hope these went unpurchased, as buying Fred's gift cards in 2019 given the state of peril the company was in certainly could not have been considered a good idea. Still, it was cool to see these hanging on all these years later. Based on the Fred's logo used and on this article, it's likely that these date back prior to 2006, perhaps even to this store's opening.

Just a few more aisle shots, including some close-ups of the liquidation shelf signage and of a random handbasket. If you've been looking closely at the merchandise for sale that has been visible in all of my photos so far, you've seen that there was certainly a wide variety of oddball stuff. But still, we managed to walk out of here with something, which I think is quite the feat given the selection we were dealing with! (If you're curious, it was a three-tier wire pantry shelf for canned goods. Only two of the three tiers fit in my current pantry, but it is what it is :P )

Thought the shot looking down one of the leftmost aisles all the way to the back wall turned out well, not least because it's my only shot from that far over in the salesfloor. I liked the shot of the front end as well.

In fact, I'm pleased with how many of these photos turned out, because they're not excessively cluttered up with endless store closing signs. This store seems to have had very few of those, which is a refreshing change of pace from most liquidations. I believe the reason for that is because the ceiling, as discussed already, is so high up; you'll note that all the ones we have seen were affixed to walls and poles, and not hung from the rafters, like you'd usually encounter. I'll take it!

The grocery department occupied the front left corner of the store, and it had a fair amount of merchandise remaining, although none of it was particularly interesting. I guess the Ole Miss squeeze bottle is kinda cool, though. But I'm a little biased, too.

Sandwiched between a photo of the more modern, lowercase Fred's logo, we have several different examples of the older, uppercase Fred's logo that were hiding in plain sight in the grocery department of this Horn Lake store. I was particularly excited by the full-sized example shown in the bottom pic. And the presence of that same older logo on the three beer signs indicates to me that this store may have stocked beer prior to most of its counterparts - I guess this place was grounds for many Fred's experiments!

One more shot of the grocery department sign (and the totally cleared-out wall coolers), before stepping back out into the front actionway for several more store closing scenes. While I was here, the lone cashier was the only employee I ever saw, besides one additional employee who came out from the back for a brief moment. Nicely for a liquidation (or just in general, for that matter!), no one seemed to care about, or even notice, my photography. Of course, the employee situation and the fact that I visited this store, in a low-traffic shopping center, on a weekday afternoon all helped, too. But still.

Just for the heck of it, here's a shot of my shopping cart - an older variety, but one that was common to many of the Fred's I visited - as well as one final overview pic of the health and beauty department in the front right corner of the salesfloor, really showcasing the height of the open ceiling. I like the American flag hanging up there as well. And the angled wall in the background is probably due to the positioning of Aaron's (formerly Jitney Jungle's) entry vestibule on the opposite side. As I understand it, Fred's takes up a good portion of what was once the Jitney Jungle salesfloor (21,000 sf vs. Aaron's 10,889 sf), but because the entrance was right-aligned, Aaron's managed to take sole ownership of the corresponding vestibule.


For our final interior pics, here is a trio of shots from in front of the registers. Despite its size, this store had only three checklanes, which is actually fewer than I've seen in some other, smaller Fred's stores. But all in all, this was a nice Fred's. Its size and appearance seemed to clash with its location and level of business, which - again - may have contributed to its earlier closure compared to other Fred's stores. But the fact that it was once considered a flagship store and also seems to have gotten all those experimental additions is really neat.

Back outside again, here are some more looks at the unassuming Fred's facade. The logo looked much better when it was placed on the main facade (see below), but I can understand why it was moved.

Image courtesy LoopNet

It's also interesting to me that this store received a green version of the lowercase Fred's logo. I am not aware of any other Fred's ever to have this. But I'm not going to complain, as it makes this store even more unique!

We wrap up our tour moving further back into the parking lot, taking a look at one of the cart corrals (again featuring an older Fred's logo), one last overview shot of the storefront, and finally, the roadside signage for the entire shopping center.


But wait, there's more! I've discovered that for a lot of the Fred's stores I visited, I'm able to tie in bonus features with an additional retail tidbit of interest, to make these posts even longer to give y'all some extra, related content you'll hopefully enjoy. For this post, obviously, Jitney Jungle is our bonus subject. I researched and wrote the below information last summer, before Fred's made the decision to file for bankruptcy and liquidate entirely, so as to save myself valuable time today. Read on for a mini-Lost History lesson...

Get it? A "mini edition" of Lost Histories? :P

In researching the Horn Lake Jitney Jungle (the original store to occupy the building you saw in today’s post), I realized – in traditional Retail Retell fashion – that once I began looking up one local Jitney store, I couldn’t quit until I had researched all the rest of ‘em, too :P  So, presented below is some background information on Jitney Jungle, as well as a condensed history of their relatively brief tenure in the Memphis market. Consider this a “mini edition” Lost Histories entry!

Jitney Jungle was founded in 1919 in Jackson, MS, and gained a reputation as – as one author put it – “the locally-owned, neighborhood grocery store, period.” Over the years, Jitney stores spread throughout Mississippi, and from the 1960s onward expanded throughout the southeast as well, placing stores in Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, and Arkansas, mainly via acquisitions of other chains in those areas, such as Delchamps. Jitney’s headquarters remained in its hometown of Jackson, but beginning in 1996, control arguably moved to New York, when the company was bought out by investment firm Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Co. Troubles developed after that, and ultimately Jitney Jungle filed for bankruptcy in October 1999 – 80 years after its founding – closing and/or selling off its stores in various bursts until all of them had gone out of business by the end of 2000. For a more detailed background on Jitney Jungle’s past, visit here or the chain’s Wikipedia page.

Image source unknown

From what I can gather, Jitney Jungle first entered the Memphis market with a Sack and Save store (Jitney operated its stores under multiple banners) that opened in Southaven, MS, in 1987. But they would go on to gain a stronger foothold via one of those aforementioned acquisitions: in 1989, Jitney bought out the existing Memphis-area MegaMarket chain, which had four stores at the time. In the years that followed, Jitney Jungle would double that store count, opening three additional locations in the Memphis market to bring their grand total to eight: a store in Collierville in 1991, one in Cordova in 1993, and their final area location in Horn Lake in 1996.

Perhaps one sign of Jitney’s turbulence was the seemingly constant renaming of the Memphis-area stores; these locations cycled through various banners, including the aforementioned Sack and Save and MegaMarket brands, as well as MegaMarket Plus, Jitney SuperCenter, and Jitney Premier. And those rebrands weren’t just name changes – these all signified different formats as well, ranging from upscale to warehouse presentations, meaning a lot of remodeling occurred. In addition to burning through a lot of cash, this surely served to confuse customers.

As a result of the company’s bankruptcy, Jitney exited the Memphis market in March 2000, selling some stores to competing grocery chains and closing others. I didn’t do super extensive research on the eight stores – I focused most of my efforts on the two DeSoto County locations, since that locale is the focus of this post – but here’s what I was able to find…


  • 285 Stateline Road W, Southaven, MS (“The Market at Southaven” shopping center)
  • Opened in November 1987 as Sack and Save Foods, owned by Jitney Jungle.
  • Rebranded as MegaMarket at some point before 1991; rebranded again as Jitney Premier in September 1997.
  • In the 2000 bankruptcy, this location was not sold and subsequently closed down on March 25, 2000. However, it would be reopened in October 2000 by Sewell-Allen (operator of local Piggly Wiggly and other independent grocery stores at the time), under the MegaMarket banner (see the American Way store for more details). The revived Southaven MegaMarket would ultimately last less than a year, closing again in June 2001.
  • Presently, this location is a vacant site; the building was demolished after it sustained damage in the February 2008 tornado (see below).

Post-demolition image of the Southaven Sack and Save Foods, with inset photo showing the store while operational. Courtesy l_dawg2000

This aerial view from October 2013 shows how the floor tiles of the store remain visible even after demolition of the structure itself. Courtesy Google Earth

American Way

  • 5150 American Way, Memphis, TN
  • One of four Memphis MegaMarket stores purchased in 1989 by Jitney Jungle.
  • Operated as MegaMarket throughout Jitney’s ownership.
  • In the 2000 bankruptcy, this location was sold to Sewell-Allen (operator of local Piggly Wiggly and other independent grocery stores at the time), who subsequently acquired the exclusive rights to use the MegaMarket name in the Memphis market*. The store was later rebranded as Piggly Wiggly, and closed by 2010.
  • Presently, this location is occupied by Stepherson’s, Inc. (operator of Superlo Foods) as their corporate offices.
  • * – This is how the Southaven location detailed previously came to operate as MegaMarket even after its purchase by Sewell-Allen. Sewell-Allen also rebranded another of their stores, at Summer and Waring in Memphis, to the MegaMarket name, but that store was never owned by or affiliated with Jitney Jungle.

Covington Pike

  • 2155 Covington Pike, Memphis, TN
  • One of four Memphis MegaMarket stores purchased in 1989 by Jitney Jungle.
  • Operated as MegaMarket throughout Jitney’s ownership.
  • In the 2000 bankruptcy, this location was (presumably) sold to Superlo Foods.
  • Presently, this location is occupied by Superlo Foods and Ace Hardware.

Poplar (Midtown)

  • 1627 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN
  • One of four Memphis MegaMarket stores purchased in 1989 by Jitney Jungle.
  • Operated as MegaMarket throughout Jitney’s ownership.
  • In the 2000 bankruptcy, this location was sold to Albertsons, who reopened the store in April 2000 as Seessel’s #4718 (which would go on to close in February 2002).
  • Presently, this location is occupied by Home Depot.


  • 1232 E Shelby Drive, Memphis, TN
  • One of four Memphis MegaMarket stores purchased in 1989 by Jitney Jungle.
  • Operated as MegaMarket throughout Jitney’s ownership.
  • In the 2000 bankruptcy, this location was sold to Albertsons, who reopened the store in April 2000 as Seessel’s #4717. Albertsons would go on to replace this store with a brand new building, Seessel’s #4738, next door… which would then close when Albertsons exited the Memphis market in March 2002.
  • Presently, this location appears vacant, although it may still be operational as JD USA Shopping Center.


  • 920 W Poplar Avenue, Collierville, TN
  • Opened in December 1991 as MegaMarket, owned by Jitney Jungle.
  • Rebranded as MegaMarket Plus at some point; rebranded again as Jitney Premier in July 1997.
  • In the 2000 bankruptcy, this location was sold to Albertsons, who reopened the store in April 2000 as Seessel’s #4719 (which would go on to close when Albertsons exited the Memphis market in March 2002).
  • Presently, this location is occupied by FedEx as some of their corporate offices.


  • 1800 N Germantown Parkway, Cordova, TN (“The Market at Cordova” shopping center)
  • Opened in March 1993 as MegaMarket Plus, owned by Jitney Jungle.
  • Rebranded as Jitney Premier in May 1997.
  • In the 2000 bankruptcy, this location was not sold and subsequently closed down in March 2000.
  • Presently, this location is occupied by The Life Church.

Horn Lake

  • 3031 Goodman Road W, Horn Lake, MS (“The Market at Horn Lake” shopping center – yes, these all had the same developer!)
  • Opened in January 1996 as Jitney SuperCenter, owned by Jitney Jungle.
  • Rebranded as Jitney Premier in September 1997.
  • In the 2000 bankruptcy, this location was sold to Sewell-Allen (operator of local Piggly Wiggly and other independent grocery stores at the time), and rebranded as Piggly Wiggly with a grand opening on May 10, 2000. Piggly Wiggly would go on to close sometime between February 2002 and February 2003.
  • Presently, this location is subdivided, occupied by Aaron’s and a vacant space (most recently Fred’s, which closed on May 31, 2019).

Of those stores that were sold to Sewell-Allen (operator of local Piggly Wiggly and other independent grocery stores at the time), it is important to point out that Sewell-Allen itself wound up closing most of its stores, decreasing from a count of 15 in 2002 to just five by 2004. Today, some Piggly Wiggly (and other independent) grocery stores remain scattered around the Memphis area, but I’m not sure that Sewell-Allen – once the largest Piggly Wiggly franchisee – operates any of them anymore. But of course, we tackled the consolidation of Memphis’s grocery scene back in this post. The Sewell-Allen/Piggly Wiggly – and indeed, Jitney Jungle/MegaMarket – stories are just additional pieces in that puzzle, two more grocery store operators lost to time whose departures have contributed to today’s Kroger and Walmart dominance in the Mid-South.


That’s it for this post. Stay tuned for another Fred’s post this June, as I settle into a March/June/September/December posting schedule for the remainder of this series. And next month, our Rite Aid series continues – yes, even though we’ve already finished going through all the Memphis-area stores. Something to look forward to, for sure!

Until next time, then, thanks for reading, and as always, have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are :)

Retail Retell