Orlando, Florida-based Save A Lot, a discount grocery chain, has completed the sale of 33 company-owned stores across the greater Orlando area to Ascend Grocery LLC, as part of the discount grocer’s ongoing efforts to convert corporate-owned stores to local ownership.
Ascend Grocery was co-founded and is led by industry veteran Chris Sherrell, founder and former CEO of Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and former CEO of Sunflower Farmers Market. Sherrell has built a team of leaders to drive the business with a focus on elevating the employee experience and building long-term community partnerships.
“It’s an honor to partner with Save A Lot. By combining the brand’s great quality and low prices with our understanding of how to provide superior customer service and an outstanding shopping experience, I believe we can make a real impact for customers in the greater Orlando area,” said Sherrell, CEO of Ascend Grocery LLC.
“Our passion is in serving customers by creating opportunities for employees and in immersing ourselves within the greater community. Having happy employees who take pride in their work leads to customers having the best shopping experience in town,” he said.
As part of the conversion, Ascend Grocery will retain the 400 store associates who work at the 33 Save A Lot stores, which will continue serving each neighborhood.
Stores also will increase their assortment of ethnic and locally sourced food items to better serve customers in meaningful ways, with a focus on providing a wider variety of fresh and quality produce and meats.
Beginning this year, all Ascend Grocery stores will undergo a significant remodel to fully 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.
Giving back and being involved in each community served are also key tenets of Ascend Grocery’s business plan. The company will seek to form new partnerships with food pantries, charities, local associations and other key community organizations that will allow it to do good within the community and help support its customer base.
“Ascend Grocery is a world-class, high-caliber team of grocers who will bring an extraordinary level of experience to our stores in Orlando,” said Tim Schroder, chief sales and marketing officer at Save A Lot.
“Their commitment to serve customers, community and employees, together with Save A Lot’s mission of providing convenient access to high-quality foods, will be a winning combination. I’m confident their continued investment in the Orlando market will lead to a profound impact on how customers enjoy the Save A Lot experience for many years to come,” he said.
Solomon Partners served as financial advisor to Save A Lot in connection with the transaction.
For more information, visit savealot.com.