Before this store, customers weren’t allowed to do their own shopping.
Piggly Wiggly was founded on September 6th, 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee. The guy that started it was named Clarence Saunders. He noticed a problem with the way people bought groceries; at the time, stores didn’t allow their customers to do their own shopping. Customers would go to the clerk with a list and then the clerk would go and retrieve the items. This meant that going to the store was an ordeal and it drove prices up.
Clarence set up the first Piggly Wiggly so that customers entered through a turnstile that led customers through a maze, allowing them to choose from 605 available items. Later, they abandoned the maze and also became the first store to have shopping carts in 1937.
Clarence got in trouble with the government for his questionable stock trading and left the company shortly after. He went on to invent the automated grocery store, the Keedoozle; it failed miserably but it led eventually to the self-checkouts we use today.)