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Home / News & Reviews / Product Reviews / Competition heats up

Competition heats up

By Bob Keller | August 6, 2019

The O gauge Piggly Wiggly by Menards

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Bill Zuback
O gauge Piggly Wiggly from Menards

Price: $99.99 (no. 279-4426) Features: Interior and exterior lighting, store name flashes in sequence. Interior decoration includes printed shelves with products and shoppers. Sidewalk details include pedestrians, mailbox and mechanical horse ride. Order online at and opt for free shipping to your local Menards store.

Watch out Red Owl, the Pig is after your tail feathers! Yes, the grocery business on your layout has just gotten competitive with Menards’ introduction of the Piggly Wiggly store.

Familiar to residents of the Midwestern and southern states, Piggly Wiggly was the first self-service grocery stores in the nation. Rather than a shop having multiple employees taking your order off of the shelves, you were allowed to pick the brands and price points you wanted and carry them yourself. As they say, the rest is history. Today, there are more than 500 stores in 17 states.

Opening the box

The structure has a nice, compact footprint similar to the previously issued Menards Red Owl store. But this isn’t just a copy of the same building. The Red Owl had a large overhang and multiple supports to hold it up. The signage was illuminated from below. The front and rear entries into the store differ as well.

The first thing you notice is the Piggly Wiggly sign with its iconic happy pig wearing a cap. As a kid I had a vague notion it had something to do with Porky Pig, but it pre-dated him by many years! The word Piggly is on the left and to the right of the happy pig, is the word Wiggly. The Pig remains illuminated while the letters illuminate individually P-I-G-G-L-Y and then W-I-G-G-L-Y. When this is done, the full name flashes several timed and then renews the cycle.

The front of the store is flat with a minimal overhang and needs no supports. The entry area is illuminated by LEDs on the underside of the roof overhang. The doorway is centered below the pig and the door and window frame are more modern-looking aluminum in color. Placed on the sidewalk are five figures, Jack, a mailbox and a horse ride.

Inside you will find an interior similar to the Red Owl, with wall-mounted shelves with colorful products on them. On the right side there are shelves closer to the window and a shopper with cart placed nearby. The left wall and rear of the store have printed shelving. There is a free-standing fruit and veggie counter. Shoppers with carts are on both sides. Near the front door is an employee with a service counter

The exterior walls have a cream color brick texture. The left wall has vintage graphics for Campbell’s Soup, while the right wall advertises Tide detergent.

The rear has two truck loading docks and an employee door in the center. The plug-in is located on the rear right side (looking from the front).

If you have a mind to rotate your Menards structures from time to time, this should easily swap out with the Chippewa Valley Farm Supply, Red Owl, Menards Power & Light, the School Bus Maintenance Facility, or the Watkins City Block.

The Piggly Wiggly should have wide appeal. The graphics make the structure stand out. The large windows, interior lighting, and decoration will enable visitors to your layout to smile at the happy shoppers therein. If you’ve neglected giving your train town a grocery, put this building on your to-add list.

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