Conspicuously quiet since its acquisition by private equity investors two years ago, Save-A-Lot may be finally be ready to call attention to itself again.
The St. Louis-based hard discounter this week is advertising a program of more than 500 everyday price reductions at its stores and in some locations is advertising them behind a new corporate logo, WGB has learned.
“The Big Price Drop” is advertised in sales flyers that went live Oct. 3. While selections and prices appeared to vary by region, WGB’s perusal of a St. Louis-area circular showed price reductions ranging from 10% to 20% or more, primarily on private label items.
Some sales flyers also revealed a new corporate logo, often an indication that a company’s internal initiatives are ready to become customer-facing.
The new logo consists of the of the words “SAVE A LOT” in a stylized font enclosed within a solid circle with another a small solid circle under the letter “A.” In whole, the logo resembles a full grocery cart. U.S. Trademark office records indicate an affiliate of Save-A-Lot filed the wordmark earlier this year and it was approved late last month.
Save-A-Lot was sold by distributor Supervalu to the Canadian private equity firm Onex two years ago. Onex subsequently named Kenneth McGrath CEO in April 2017. McGrath was Lidl’s first U.S. CEO and is a former CEO of Lidl Ireland. McGrath’s colleague at both Lidl divisions, Kevin Proctor, was then named chief investment officer.
Matthew Ross, a New York-based Onex executive who is also chairman of the board at Save-A-Lot, said upon the appointment of McGrath that the leader would “chart a new course for the company,” but little has been publicly announced since.
Analysts have said Save-A-Lot is positioned to benefit from trends toward value and convenience and a relatively underdeveloped discount niche that has lifted the fortunes of fast-growing rivals such as Aldi and attracted Lidl to the U.S. However, some Save-A-Lot licensees who spoke to WGB expressed concern that they would have less ability to operate as freely as they once had under Supervalu’s control.
Save-A-Lot as of last year had more than 1,344 locations in the U.S., including 477 corporate-owned units and 867 operated by independent licensees.
Officials of Save-A-Lot were not immediately available for comment.