Clarence SAUNDERS

Family tree of Clarence SAUNDERS

Inventor, Industrialist, Businessman

AmericanBorn Clarence SAUNDERS

American grocer who first developed the modern retail sales model of self service

Born on August 09, 1881 in Amherst Co., Virginia, USA , United States

Died on October 14, 1953 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA

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Born in Virginia, Saunders left school at 14 to clerk in a general store. Later he worked in an Alabama coke plant and in a Tennessee sawmill before he returned to the grocery business. By 1900, when he was nineteen years old, he was earning $30 a month as a salesman for a wholesale grocer. In 1902 he moved to Memphis where he formed a grocery wholesale cooperative. Through his experiences he became convinced that many small grocers failed because of heavy credit losses and high overhead. Consequently in 1915 he organized the Saunders-Blackburn Co., a grocery wholesaler which sold for cash only and encouraged its retail customers to do the same.



After leaving Clarksville, Tennessee, on September 6, 1916, Saunders launched the self-service revolution in the USA by opening the first self-service Piggly Wiggly store, at 79 Jefferson Street in Memphis, Tennessee, with its characteristic turnstile at the entrance. Customers paid cash and selected their own goods from the shelves.

...   Born in Virginia, Saunders left school at 14 to clerk in a general store. Later he worked in an Alabama coke plant and in a Tennessee sawmill before he returned to the grocery business. By 1900, when he was nineteen years old, he was earning $30 a month as a salesman for a wholesale grocer. In 1902 he moved to Memphis where he formed a grocery wholesale cooperative. Through his experiences he became convinced that many small grocers failed because of heavy credit losses and high overhead. Consequently in 1915 he organized the Saunders-Blackburn Co., a grocery wholesaler which sold for cash only and encouraged its retail customers to do the same.



After leaving Clarksville, Tennessee, on September 6, 1916, Saunders launched the self-service revolution in the USA by opening the first self-service Piggly Wiggly store, at 79 Jefferson Street in Memphis, Tennessee, with its characteristic turnstile at the entrance. Customers paid cash and selected their own goods from the shelves.



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Geographical origins

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