Six months after acquiring 51 corporate-owned Save A Lot stores in the Florida market, Findlay, Ohio's Fresh Encounter Inc. marked its arrival in the Sunshine State June 4 with grand reopenings showing off a $7 million remodeling program.
Siblings Julie Needler Anderson, director of marketing, and Michael Needler Jr., president and CEO, lead Fresh Encounter, which debuted in Florida as it took over stores previously owned by the St. Louis-based discounter. Fresh Encounter also runs supermarkets under a variety of banners including Great Scot, Community Markets, Germantown Fresh Market, Needler’s Fresh Market, Remke Markets, Sack n’ Save, King Saver and Chief Supermarkets, in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Save A Lot CEO Kenneth McGrath, left, and Michael Needler Jr. spoke at the grand reopening at Save A Lot's location at 2271 E. Bearss Ave. in Tampa.
“My team and I are committed to ensuring our neighbors in Tampa have a wonderful and revitalized shopping experience, no matter what Save A Lot they go to,” Needler said. “By spending time in the market over the past few months, I’ve been able to hear from our Tampa team members and customers about what they are looking for when they chose to spend their time and money with us. All of us are looking forward to taking these important insights and turning them into reality to help achieve our mission of delighting our customers, nourishing our communities, and inspiring pride in our team.”
Save A Lot said the newly remodeled stores "fully reflect Save A Lot’s new brand image, providing a fresh look and enhanced functionality, while continuing to service the local community with quality and value consumers have come to expect." Shorter aisles are easier to shop and more efficient to service.
Moran Foods Inc., parent of Save A Lot, is in the process of relicensing all but 21 of its corporate-owned stores as it pivots from operations to a wholesale model. This has become an opportunity for growth-minded independents like Fresh Encounter and Leevers Supermarkets, which acquired 17 Save A Lots in Philadelphia. Most recently, AQS Foods took over five stores in the Washington, DC area.