Speculation has surrounded Supervalu since it said last year that it was reviewing its strategic alternatives. While many of the rumors were squelched Jan. 10 when the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company announced its plans to sell five of its banners—Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market—to Cerberus Capital Management-led AB Acquisition LLC, many in the industry continue to question what the future holds for the retail and wholesale grocery giant.
“First, and the most important thing to know, is we have and will continue to serve our independents better than any other company,” Siemienas said. “We are second to none when it comes to our wholesale division. It is where our company roots are. We’ve been doing this for more than 140 years and we plan to continue to provide retailers with the products and the services they need for many years to come. We look forward to not only helping our retailers grow their business but to growing with them, and expanding and affiliating with new customers as well.”
The AB Acquisition deal, which Siemienas says is expected to close the week of March 18, will reduce Supervalu’s retail locations from 1,100 to 191.
“But we still have our wholesale division, which is strong with nearly 2,000 retailers that we’re the primary supplier of, as well as our Save-A-Lot division, which has more than 1,300 stores,” Siemienas said. “So we’re very confident in the future. We have five strong regional banners (Cub, Farm Fresh, Shoppers, Shop ‘n Save and Hornbacher’s), a great wholesale division that’s got a great history of providing our customers with what they need and a great growth vehicle with Save-A-Lot as well.
“…Supervalu will be a smaller company from the retail side but it will still be a very strong company with the wholesale, the strong five regional retail brands along with Save-A-Lot,” he added.
Siemienas notes that the company communicates regularly with its customers to assure them that Supervalu is moving ahead as a stronger, healthier company.
“We continue to talk to the independents,” he said. “We’ve got a great team on our wholesale side who has conversations with our independent retailers every day. We’re obviously here at NGA where many of our independents are, and we’ll be talking to them and making sure they know exactly what’s taking place, but more importantly showing them what we’re doing to move forward.”
Supervalu, which has a booth at the NGA Show this week, is talking and meeting with its customers as well as others in the industry during the show. The company’s booth also features many of its private-label products.
“…We have lot of our private brands set up so (independents) can see all of the different product lines and what’s available to them,” Siemienas said.
“…You’ve got the Shoppers Value, you’ve got the Essential Everyday, Culinary Circle, Stoneridge Creamery. We have our Hispanic line of Carlita. So there’s a lot of product variety out there and we know that customers continue to seek quality products at affordable prices, and private brands are definitely a way to go on that,” he added.
“…What we try to do in our private brand is, obviously, we have some products that go head to head with the national brand, and we have an excellent team that really innovates and creates unique products and flavor profiles that we know customers want.”
More NGA Show photos can be found here. Check back for updates and additional photos from the show throughout the week.