Save A Lot, one of the largest discount grocery chains in the U.S., has announced it completed the sale of 33 company-owned stores across the greater Orlando, Fla., area to Ascend Grocery LLC, in December. The sale is part of the discount grocer’s ongoing efforts to convert corporate-owned stores to local ownership.
“It’s an honor to partner with Save A Lot. By combining the brand’s great quality and low prices with our understanding of how to provide superior customer service and an outstanding shopping experience, I believe we can make a real impact for customers in the greater Orlando area,” said Chris Sherrell, CEO of Ascend Grocery, in a statement. “Our passion is in serving customers by creating opportunities for employees and in immersing ourselves within the greater community. Having happy employees who take pride in their work leads to customers having the best shopping experience in town.”
Ascend Grocery was co-founded by Sherrell, founder and former CEO of Fresh Thyme Market and former CEO of Sunflower Farmers Market. Sherrell has built a seasoned team of leaders to drive the business, with a focus on elevating the employee experience and building long-term community partnerships, the company said.
As part of the conversion, Ascend Grocery will retain the 400 store associates who work at the 33 Save A Lot stores, which will continue serving each neighborhood with an emphasis on convenience and high-quality products at a great value and extraordinary customer service, the company added. Stores will also increase their assortment of global and locally sourced food, with a focus on providing a wider variety of fresh and quality produce and meats.
The sale of 33 Save A Lot locations follows the September 2021 sale of 32 corporate-owned stores to a subsidiary of 127 Wall Holdings, a holding company co-founded by Save A Lot and grocery industry veteran Joe Canfield.
Beginning this year, all Ascend Grocery stores will undergo a significant remodel to fully reflect Save A Lot’s updated brand image. This will deliver an enhanced shopping environment both inside and outside the stores, including new decor, upgraded flooring and lighting, as well as updated produce and meat cases, Ascend said.
Giving back and being involved in each community served are also key tenets of Ascend Grocery’s business plan. With this in mind, the company said it will seek to form new partnerships with food pantries, charities, local associations and other key community organizations that will allow it to do good within the community and help support its customer base.
“Ascend Grocery is a world-class, high-caliber team of grocers who will bring an extraordinary level of experience to our stores in Orlando,” said Tim Schroder, chief sales and marketing officer for Save A Lot. “Their commitment to serve customers, community and employees, together with Save A Lot’s mission of providing convenient access to high-quality foods, will be a winning combination. I’m confident their continued investment in the Orlando market will lead to a profound impact on how customers enjoy the Save A Lot experience for many years to come.”
Solomon Partners served as financial adviser to Save A Lot in connection with the transaction.
With over 900 stores in 32 states, Save A Lot is one of the largest discount grocery store chains in the U.S.