Retailers

Save A Lot Operator Madison Foods Joins Wakefern Co-Op

High-volume Boston-area stores to switch to Price Rite Marketplace banner
Photograph courtesy of Price Rite Marketplace

Madison Foods, the Boston-area independent Save A Lot operator, has joined the Wakefern Food Corp. cooperative and will switch its three stores—and open a fourth store early next year—to Wakefern’s Price Rite Marketplace banner, the cooperative said.

Owned and operated by the Slawsby family, Madison Foods said it would begin switching its stores—which are located in Roslindale, Roxbury, and Brockton, Mass., and said to be among the highest-volume Save A Lot units in the country—to the PriceRite format in coming weeks. A fourth store owned by Madison, in Dorchester, Mass., will open in January, under the PriceRite Marketplace banner.

The switch makes Madison Foods the Wakefern cooperative’s 51st independent co-owner and the first of them to only operate discount stores. PriceRite is a registered trademark of Wakefern with nearly 60 discount stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Maryland. Some Price Rite stores are owned and managed by by the cooperative and others by its members.

Price Rite has revamped its format in recent years, adding the “Marketplace” name and transitioning from a warehouse format mainly designed to offload goods and aid distribution efficiency to a small, limited assortment store emphasizing simplicity, fresh foods and price in an efficient format that more closely resembles models like Aldi, Lidl and Save A Lot.

Wakefern said customers of Madison’s stores can expect their favorite features to remain—including in-store meat butchers and a variety of ethnic foods and value products said to be a key element of the stores’ high sales volumes—as the locations are renovated and new exclusive brands added. Customers will also notice new advertising circulars with special deals for the Price Rite Marketplace locations.

“We will continue to provide all the things our customers know and love while adding more variety and award-winning store brands that the Wakefern cooperative offers,” said Todd Slawsby, president of Madison Foods, who runs the business with his father, Harold, and brother, Jonathan. “This is the exciting next chapter in my family’s history in the grocery business. I want to thank shoppers for their support and patience as we undertake rebranding efforts and make the change to Price Rite Marketplace.”

The Slawsby family has been operating grocery stores in the Boston area since the 1940s, when Harold’s father, Ben Slawsby, started a meat market in Dorchester that eventually became Capitol Foods, a 10-store supermarket chain. The company opened its first store under the Save A Lot banner in 1996 and added additional Save A Lot locations in 2000 and 2004.

“I am excited to welcome the Slawsby family to our Wakefern cooperative, which is made up of family-owned, independent grocers with a 75-year history in the supermarket business,” said Joseph Colalillo, chairman and CEO of Wakefern, based in Keasbey, N.J., whose independent owners also run the ShopRite chain. “These stores will expand the Price Rite Marketplace brand in the Boston area and bring the Price Rite commitment of value and quality to the communities of Roslindale, Roxbury, Brockton and Dorchester.”

The new Price Rite Marketplace locations will also offer several Wakefern own brand products, including the new popular Bowl & Basket andPaperbirdlines. Shoppers will also be able to purchase Wakefern’s award-winning Wholesome Pantry brands, which include the Wholesome Pantry Organic line as well as a range of products free from artificial additives and preservatives.

Madison was the only independent Save A Lot operator in Massachusetts, although the St. Louis-based discounter has additional corporate-owned Save A Lots in the Springfield, Mass., market. Save A Lot executives have said they would look to sell nearly all of its owned stores to independent operators as it switches from a retail-wholesale hybrid to a traditional wholesaler.

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