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USA: Fresh Encounter Picks Up 51 Save-A-Lot Stores

Discount grocery chain Save-A-Lot continues on its wholesale model transition to navigate today’s challenging landscape with the sale of its 51 Tampa, FL, market stores to Fresh Encounter.

Fresh Encounter, a Save A Lot retail licensee with 61 stores, will continue to operate the locations under the Save A Lot banner. The independent retailer also operates stores under the Great Scot, Community Markets and Germantown Fresh Market banners, among others. With 1,000 stores in 33 states and 14 wholesale distribution centers, Save A Lot is a licensor and wholesale partner to over 200 independent owners and operators, with 1,000 stores in 33 states and 14 wholesale distribution centers.

Last year, the company embarked on a recapitalization of its business to eliminate about $500 million in debt and receive $350 million in new capital. As part of this, it intends to sell its 300-plus corporate-owned stores and transition to a wholesale model. With the Fresh Encounter deal, the company has executed seven sale transactions that comprise 82 stores, and it expects to complete its re-licensing program in 2021.

It will continue to operate 21 corporate stores locally in St. Louis, leveraging them as an innovation testing ground.

“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,” said Kenneth McGrath, Save A Lot CEO, in a statement. “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.”

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