Save-A Lot

Save A LotSave-a-Lot is a discount supermarket chain, and subsidiary of SUPERVALU. Headquartered in Earth City, Missouri, Save-A-Lot stores carry most typical grocery products, but they feature considerably less variety than conventional supermarkets. They do offer a good selection of private brands that more than make up the difference.

History
Save-a-Lot was founded in 1977 by Bill Moran as a convenient, value alternative to larger supermarkets. He opened the first Save-A-Lot store in Cahokia, Illinois and remained with the company until his retirement in 2006. Moran oversaw the expansion of his company from one store in 1977 to more than 1,000 locations across the country. He was succeeded as President and CEO by Bill Shaner, then COO of Save-A-Lot. Shaner began his career at Save-A-Lot in 1999 after spending 15 years in the operations division at parent company Supervalu.

In 1978, General Grocer Company expanded the company’s presence in the greater St. Louis market. Eventually, the store network grew to 30 stores by the end of the decade. At the root of company’s growth strategy is its licensee relationship in which Save-A-Lot acts as a wholesaler to its independent store owners as opposed to a franchisor. Smaller, independent grocery retailers soon found the limited assortment model to be an effective defensive strategy against the larger chain supermarkets. With help from new licensees, Save-A-Lot added 50 new locations in the Mid-South region and a warehouse in Jackson, Tennessee in 1980 alone.

In 1983, Save-A-Lot was purchased by St. Louis based food retailer and wholesaler, Wetterau Inc, then owner of current sister-stores Shop ‘n Save.

The next year became the company’s biggest in terms of store growth. In 1984, Save-A-Lot purchased 75 similar format Jewel T stores and two distribution centers from Jewel in Florida and Pennsylvania.

In 1994, both the Save-A-Lot and Shop ‘n Save banners became wholly owned subsidiaries of Supervalu Inc, one of the largest independent grocery wholesalers and the owners of Cub Foods and Scott’s Food & Pharmacy at the time. The acquisition opened up Save-A-Lot’s licensee opportunities to conventional Supervalu supplied operators such as Niemann Foods and many others.

Save-A-Lot moved into Southern California with the purchase of 21 discount grocery Sav U Foods stores and a distribution center from the Fleming Companies in late 1996.

In 2002, Save-A-Lot acquired discount variety store chain Deal$: Nothing Over a Dollar with 45 stores in the Midwest. The typical Deal$ store had a slightly smaller footprint than Save-A-Lot and carried mostly non-food merchandise at dollar increment price points. The Deal$ concept was expanded under Save-A-Lot to 138 stores by 2006.

The acquisition also allowed Save-A-Lot to implement more general merchandise into its grocery stores. The company experimented with hypermarkets which combined the discount grocery and merchandise concepts under one roof. This eventually lead to 480 combination stores that did not carry the Deal$ banner.

Four years later, Save-A-Lot sold Deal$ to variety store rival Dollar Tree for $30.5 million plus inventory. Save-A-Lot has reduced the amount of general merchandise in its combination stores and returned them to its grocery-focused model.

In late 2009, newly hired Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert announced the goal to double the Save-A-Lot store network (to 2,400 locations) within five years. The company would open nearly 100 stores in 2010 with a major focus on the Southeastern United States. Save-A-Lot plans to open a new distribution center in Davidson County, North Carolina in 2011 that will service a portion of the new and existing stores.

Save-A-Lot also entered into a licensing affiliation with notable Hispanic grocer Rafael Ortega to rebrand six former Save-A-Lots in Houston, Texas and South Texas as “El Ahorro Save-A-Lot”. The new stores feature Save-A-Lot product offerings along with more traditional Hispanic staples.

In late 2010, drug store chain Rite Aid became a licensed Save-A-Lot operator when it converted ten of its existing pharmacy locations in the Greenville, South Carolina market to “Save-A-Lot/Rite Aid” co-branded stores. The stores have maintained the traditional Rite Aid pharmacy, but replaced the bulk of its health and beauty general merchandise with Save-A-Lot grocery product including fresh meat, produce, and frozen items.

Save-A-Lot employs a limited assortment concept in its production selection which resulted in an advertised 40% price advantage over conventional supermarkets. The stores generally offer strictly private label product and in only one size. This has resulted in a reduction of SKUs from 30,000 at conventional supermarkets to roughly 1,250. Save-A-Lot does offer national brands from time to time including Coca-Cola, Little Debbie, Banquet Foods, Chef Boyardee, Pringles, Oscar Mayer and others.

The company leverages its store network of 1,200 in negotiating prices with its suppliers. Save-A-Lot contends many of these suppliers are the same manufacturers of leading national brands. In essence, Save-A-Lot shoppers do not pay for the marketing and advertising costs associated with nationally branded products. Save-A-Lot puts its name on these products such as Walmart has done with their Great Value private-label products and also offers a 100% money back guarantee.

A majority of Save-A-Lot stores are owned and operated by independent licensees. Save-A-Lot supplies much of these stores with its exclusive branded products, but the licensed owners have the freedom to sell other non-Save-A-Lot products at their stores. Some licensees have added services beyond the traditional Save-A-Lot model that includes bakeries, delis, liquor, tobacco, money transfers, and fuel services.

After the announcement to double the size of the company in 2009, Save-A-Lot began offering a licensee incentive program to spur growth in its licensed division. Pending financial approvals of each individual applicant, Save-A-Lot offered to provide a minimum of $200,000 in capital assistance per new store. The program began in late 2009 and is in effect until early 2011.

At select races during the 2008 and 2009 Nascar Nationwide Series Save-A-Lot sponsored the #60 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion driven by 2007 Champion Carl Edwards. Save-A-Lot ended its sponsorship of Edwards in 2010 to focus on other marketing campaigns.

Stats:
Headquarters: Earth City, Missouri
No. of Stores: approximately 1,250 stores in the United States (2010)
No. of Employees: unknown
Revenue: over $4 billion in annual sales (2010)
Geography: The distribution of licensed stores is spread across the contiguous United States. Most of these stores are located in small rural communities in Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and Western New York. In 2010, Save-A-Lot expanded its presence into the Caribbean with licensed stores in San Nicolas, Aruba and Roseau, Dominica.
Special Services: Dairy, deli, frozen foods, general grocery, meat, produce, snacks, liquor, general merchandise

Banners
Sav-A-Lot, SUPERVALU

Brands
Sav-A-Lot carries all the national brands, as well as their own brands listed here, and other private brands such as:

Caskey’s – soups
Coburn Farms – dairy
Bubba – sodas
Fairgrounds – deli meats
J. Higgs – salty snacks
Kurtz – condiments
Malone’s – canned meats and beans
Mantia’s – pasta and Italian
Nature Trails – wholesome snacks
Port Side – seafood
Portman’s – salad dressing
Skillet Masters – meal mixes
World’s Fair – frozen desserts
Wylwood – canned vegetables

Important links
Corporate Homepage
Online shopping
Circular and specials
Jobs
Store Locations
Contact information

33 Comments

  1. Bill November 20, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Save-A-Lot routinely distributes your weekly ads via Red Plum/Valassis. We have not received our ads in a timely manner. I contacted the LARGO, FLORIDA post office and they blame Red Plum/Valassis, Inc for not getting the Red Plum packages to them in time. Last week ( Monday November 13 thru Friday November 17) our Red Plum package including your weekly ad was not delivered until late Friday November 17th. in the past, these ads were delivered by the post office on each Tuesday, except when Monday was a holiday. Friends in a different Largo FL zip code also are not getting their ads until Thursday each week. Our zipcode is 33771 and theirs 33770>
    Save A Lot is paying Valassis big money to get these advertisemente to the consumer and S-A-L is NOT GETTING THE SERVICE PAID FOR.

  2. fred anderson October 14, 2017 at 3:53 am - Reply

    When I go to Save-A-Lot I have instant regret every time I walked in the store the ghetto attitude that goes on while you’re in line paying for your food it seems that the conversatin that to turns to somebody else just to take care of attention off of customer service I noticed that it has something to do with the white customers maybe I should have been born black anyway I’d much rather spend my money somewhere else Save-A-Lot customer service t you get what you pay for a girl real food store where they value your customer Save-A-Lot food sucks customer service sucks I’m not ghetto attitude that you’re saving a big dollar on top of the fact there’s always someone soliciting something outside the store bootleg crap

  3. HANK February 9, 2016 at 10:53 am - Reply

    BEWARE OF THE SAVE A LOT STORE IN OXON HILL MARYLAND. VERY POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.

    WHITE PATRONS ARE NOT WELCOME AT THIS STORE.
    ALL THIS STORE CARES ABOUT IS BLACK PATRONS.
    WHITE LIFES MATTERS AS MUCH BLACK LIFES MATTERS.

    • O September 25, 2017 at 7:34 am - Reply

      I would record the incident and send it to the attorney general and the BBB in that area

  4. Mark Summers May 13, 2015 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    I have been shopping at your Lexington KY at southland store for the past few months and can’t speak highly enough about your employees at that location, They all are very friendly every time I visit. Your prices are good and they have a killer lunch buffet that I have at least once per week. Keep up the good work.

  5. Judy Golson November 10, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Today I visited the store in Selma, Alabama. I put two jars of peanut butter into my buggy and proceeded to the checkout line. I was the 4th person in line. The cashier waited on the first two customers. She then walked away and never returned. The only other checkout line was backed up into the grocery lines. I waited between 5 and 10 minutes and then walked away.

    I cannot believe that Sav-a-Lot is so cavalier about its customers that it would make no attempt to wait on a paying customer. I will think long and hard before I return to that store, Customer service should be customer service, not customer neglect.

  6. Peter J Leone Jr August 29, 2014 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    If your here to listen then why don’t you give your customers a phone number to contact your main office to lodge a complaint. I have a complaint about your store at 4th and Oregon Ave. in South Philadelphia, and would rather speak to someone than send an e mail Thank you, Peter J Leone Jr

  7. Leonard Faught August 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    said my comment will not be published …was nothing wrong with my comment except it was negative on products recieved..no bad words and no name calling a good clean letter but negative on the product..included my name andaddress as well.

  8. Leonard Faught August 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    I bought a box of J Higgs saltine crackers (1 lb box) they were flat I opended each package and they were samething..I was upset because we were having soup…I gave the crackers to the birds I was not driving 16 miles round trip just to get another box of crackers…. best by nov 1814 C B 8 scan code 0 51933 05117 1 bought at Sav-v-lot in Cedartown Ga. 30125,,,,Leonard Faught… 2815 Johnson Lake rd.,… cedartown ga. 30125 thank you

  9. conchitasalmeron July 2, 2014 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    Hi I’AM LOOKINg A SPANISH products
    ”EL SEMBRADOR ” FRUIT PULP ANY KIND MARACUYA , MANGO TAMARINDO AND OTHERS
    i am living in saint petersburg florida

    thanks

  10. avis collins June 13, 2014 at 9:17 am - Reply

    I have bought a bottle of jade dragon soy sauce.. used some few times till I noticed a mouse in the bottom of the bottle.. I feel sickened inside and how dose this happen? Honestly. I have pics and more than willing right share them.. no phone number on bottle. just webs site.. I hope someone calls me after they see this. At 2072671831

  11. carol openshaw June 13, 2014 at 12:15 am - Reply

    I shop at your store #00586 weekly. You have a fairly new employee that is very rude to costumers. She throws stuff in bags and acts like your taking to long to put your pin # in the machine . One time she refused to give a new cashier change from another cash register and was holding up the line. When the girl called the manager after being told to do by the costumers she finely did it. the girl is awful.. I bring my own bags to the store and she just tosses the groceries in the bag. her name is Charm Power. She never smiles and hardly ever your welcome. I will not go the store anymore till I know she is either gone or off work.

  12. C Webster March 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    I purchased large pkg sirloin chops 3 days ago when I got home & repacked as I split them found one CHOP totally PURE FAT. SO DECEIVING in their packaging rang the store & spoke with meat manager that WAS SOOOOOO INCREDIBLY RUDE.
    I’m not sure I will ever shop in yr store again, I shop their to save $$$ on some things I also do a very large amount shopping as part of my job for elderly people that cannot get out. Whatever happened to customer service??????
    Sincerely
    C W
    store I bought from was 24781 on Cleveland ave ft myers fl 33901 please do not send me any links coupons special etc etc as I do not have a printer nor do I have a phone that’s accessed to internet

  13. john rogers November 21, 2013 at 9:20 am - Reply

    I bought Bramleys honey. the use by date is 14 Aug 2014. it has turned to sugar

  14. CRConnor July 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Buy all my groceries from you and am very pleased with the quality and value. Recently purchased both a gallon and quart of Kurtz apple vinegar which had a funny taste – doesn’t even smell like apples . What has changed? How do I get reimbursed? Thanks.

  15. Tanya Toppin January 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Why is this buisness cutting there meat in half and charging the same price. Now you only get half of what you normally pay for, Thats just wrong, I think there out doing there name…. Should be pay alot for nothing

  16. Barbara Martens January 15, 2013 at 11:59 am - Reply

    I was just introduced to your store thru a flyer. The store is clean and well lit. You have some very good deals.I wish you would post your flyer on the internet. Barbara Martens

  17. marielene torres December 8, 2012 at 10:17 am - Reply

    I am thankful for the hispanic products you carry in the store especially your cilantro it is always fresh.Thank you for carrying these products.

  18. Glenda E. September 7, 2012 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Why are you closing our store in Thomaston, GA? They seem to be busy every time I go there,which is very often. I have friends in surrounding counties that come here to shop especially since you closed the one in Griffin. The Griffin area needs some ads to let them know there is a store in Thomaston. You have products that are reasonable and that we can’t find anywhere else. Please don’t leave us without anything except the big pricey stores like WalMart and Ingles. I have talked to many people that are quite upset about your closing. With this economy, we need all the help we can get. THANKS FOR LISTENING

  19. Maryse Cook August 21, 2012 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Liked you guys on facebook and still cannot print coupon for $5 off of $25 purchase.
    Going shopping today. Can you please email me one? Thanks for your help..
    Maryse

  20. Linda Cabler August 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    There needs to be a way to search for a certain product on your web site. I got on your site to see if you sold coconut oil cooking oil. There is no place to search for any food. How inconvenient this is. I dont want t o drive 15 miles to the store to check to see if it is available. I also dont want to call the store because it takes 15 to 20 min to get an answer as to whether you have the item or not.

  21. Kenneth Conway July 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    I purchased a bag of J.Higgs Salt&Pepper potatoe chips at your Save-a-lot in Park Hills,mo. and found a hair baked in of the chips this the second time that purchased something from there and found hair in the popcorn is already taken care of but this is getting to be a habit. please respond

  22. George Antonopolis July 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    You recently put a store here in my town, and you were selling the Chuck wagon bacon by the 10LB box, now because u are a greedy bunch and got a smart mouth store manager you only sell this particular bacon in meat food trays and an extravagant price (.90 cents a pound increase). Therefore you just have now lost my family’s business along with our friend’s business, business from our church, me and my BBQ business that shop’s there with regularity. I will be sure to encourage people to shop at a different store location and different chain like Pigly Wiggly of even better Wal-Marts and Sam’s. So hope you enjoy the lack of return business customers and the loss of faithful customers.

  23. Charles June 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    I have asked the store in this town to get different frozen vegtables such as brussel sprouts and they don’t seem to listen to any of there customers. The store is located in Galesburg Illinois

  24. Roger Knot May 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Please send me contact for the RECON Conference in Las Vegas.

  25. alexander geiger April 14, 2012 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    I bought 2 – 23 oz. jars of tip[ton grove unsweetened apple sauce , one jar was good and the other jar has mold on it. I would like to know what I should do about the bad jarof apple sauce.

    thank you : alexander geiger

    • Kevin whitehead February 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      shop at the save a lot on us19 in holiday,but they never any of the stock in, there is never enough products .THey tell you hat it will be in on on day and it never comes in for two or three days later. The shelves are always half empty.IT seems like who eve does the buying and the stocking needs to have some more training on this process.Thi store is one of majore stores in the area since they closed down the loca sweet bay. We need to have this store get it worked out so that we can shop here.

  26. Jacque Pritt February 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    There is a new save a lot store in Wadsworth, Ohio. I go in to buy some fruit, what should be really freash. There was rotten graps mixed with good grapes, and moldy strawberries. It's the same way in Barberton, Ohio. I tried calling both stores, and nobody answers the Barberton phoneline. Wadsworth's phone has been shut off, or is no longer in service.

  27. jim January 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Your cowboy beans taste terrible bring back Malones!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Alberta Hamsing January 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    We do a lot of our shopping at Sav-A-Lot. We have always been very satisfied. Til today. We had a can of Wylwood cream style corn. The taste is fantastic. but my husband found 3 about 1 inch coarse black hair in his corn. He wasn't happy at all. upc code 051933100107

  29. harry van pelt August 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I used to purchase all of your canned goods @ was very satisfied with them until you

    changed them to a different food company,now I don't buy any of them.

    The brand Billy beans that you carried for many years was my favorate brand of

    baked beans, so needless to say I was dissapointed when they were removed from your shelves.I was very delighted to see them return only to be dissapointed again as they are not the same Billy beans as the original.When the 3 cases that I purchased are gone it will be the last Billy Bean in our house.

    Thanks for the memories

  30. Rita Schapiro June 3, 2011 at 3:08 am - Reply

    Hi:

    I purchase your Senora Verde Taco Shells, and have always been satisfied with them. The last box I bought was not very good. Out of twelve tacos, 4 of them were broken in pieces, and I was not able to use them. Is there any way I can be compensated for this. Thank you.

    Rita S.

  31. Christine Hendricks May 26, 2011 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Do you stil have KASKEY'S noodle soup mix and at what stores i can't find it at any of my stores in my area. thank you please reply

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