Save A Lot, one of the largest discount grocery chains in the U.S., says it has completed the sale of 32 company-owned stores across the Cleveland, Chicago and Milwaukee metro areas to Yellow Banana LLC. The sale is part of the discount grocer’s ongoing efforts to convert corporate-owned stores to local ownership.
The 32 stores generate annual revenues in excess of $130 million, positioning Yellow Banana as one of Save A Lot’s largest retail partners nationwide.
Yellow Banana is controlled by 127 Wall Holdings LLC, a minority-owned holding company co-founded by Walker Brumskine, Ademola Adewale-Sadik and Michael Nance. The three met while earning law degrees from Yale Law School; Brumskine and Adewale-Sadik also earned MBAs from Harvard Business School. They are joined by seasoned operator and 127 Wall Holdings co-founder Joseph Canfield.
“We are thrilled to partner with Save A Lot on this opportunity to invest in underserved, predominantly minority communities in three major cities,” said Brumskine.
Adewale-Sadik added, “As the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, providing affordable, high-quality nutrition to working families is an essential service that creates meaningful impact.”
Yellow Banana intends to employ all of the more than 400 store associates and maintain their current wages, health insurance and retirement benefits. The stores will continue to emphasize convenience, offer quality products, deliver value and promote easy-to-shop store experiences. Yellow Banana also intends to expand each store’s assortment of local and regional products and hire talent from local communities.
Each of the stores will undergo a remodel in 2022 to reflect Save A Lot’s updated brand image. This will deliver an enhanced shopping environment both inside and outside the stores, including new décor, upgraded flooring and lighting as well as updated produce and meat cases.
Nance, who grew up frequenting one of the Cleveland-area Save A Lot locations now owned by Yellow Banana, recognized the opportunity that a partnership with Save A Lot represents.
“It is an honor to invest in communities like the one in which I was raised. The philosophy that guides our collaboration with Save A Lot is centered on providing both food and job security to those communities that are most in need,” he said.
“In many cases, our stores are the only accessible option for healthy, affordable groceries, and we will work hard to earn our place as the beloved hometown grocer across our communities,” said Canfield, who serves as Yellow Banana’s CEO.
“We are thrilled to have the passionate team at Yellow Banana join our Save A Lot network,” said Chris Hooks, EVP and chief merchandising officer of Save A Lot. “Their mindset and commitment to service, together with Save A Lot’s mission of providing convenient access to high-quality foods, will be a winning combination. Their near-term investment to substantially and visibly upgrade all stores will only further lead to a profound impact on how customers enjoy the Save A Lot experience for many years to come.”
Corbel Capital Partners served as financing partner and Squire Patton Boggs served as legal counsel to 127 Wall Holdings in connection with the transaction.
Save A Lot is a division of Moran Foods, a premier wholesale grocery distribution company specializing in private brand procurement and supply.