As part of its transition to a wholesale model, the discount grocery chain Save a Lot sold 51 company-operated stores in the Tampa, Florida market to Fresh Encounter, a current Save a Lot Retail Partner licensee. According to the company, Fresh Encounter will continue to operate the stores under the Save a Lot banner.
The sale of the Tampa stores to Fresh Encounter is part of an ongoing re-licensing program. Save a Lot intends to transition to a wholesale model by selling more than 300 corporate-operated locations to new and existing Retail Partners who will continue to operate the stores under the Save a Lot banner.
The company said it would keep operating 21 corporate stores locally in St. Louis, where it will continue to develop and launch innovations as a testing ground to help its retail partners succeed in their communities across the country.
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“We are excited to expand our partnership with Michael Needler and the Fresh Encounter team, who have been fantastic partners, strong operators, and excellent ambassadors of the Save a Lot brand,” said Kenneth McGrath, Chief Executive Officer at Save a Lot. “Through the re-licensing transactions we are executing across our footprint, we believe that we will be even better positioned to continue to serve the communities in which we operate. We currently have a dedicated group of retail partners that we support, and we look forward to helping other entrepreneurs own, operate, and succeed in their own business.”
Save a Lot has executed seven sale transactions, comprising 82 stores, including those being sold to Fresh Encounter. As multiple sale transactions near completion, the company expects to complete its re-licensing program in 2021.
With 1,000 stores in 33 states and 14 wholesale distribution centers, Save a Lot serves as a licensor and wholesale partner to over 200 independent owners and operators.
“The Fresh Encounter family of companies has a culture that prioritizes being positive, appreciative, and resilient, and we are eager to onboard the new Florida associates. Over the past several months, I have toured stores in the greater Tampa market, and I’m impressed with the Save a Lot team,” said Michael Needler, Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer, Fresh Encounter, Inc.
Fresh Encounter, Inc. is an independent retailer based in Findlay, Ohio. Fresh Encounter operates 61 stores throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and eastern Indiana under various banners, including Great Scot, Community Markets, Germantown Fresh Market, Needler’s Fresh Market, Remke Markets, Sack n’ Save, King Saver, and Chief Supermarkets.