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Yellow Banana Finalizes Closing To Invest In Six Save A Lot Stores

Last updated on April 28th, 2023 at 02:11 pm

Yellow Banana, the owner and operator of eight Save A Lot locations in the Chicagoland area, has announced the closing March 31 of a $26.5 million investment into six stores on the South and West sides of Chicago.

This transaction marks the next step in Yellow Banana’s commitment to underserved communities throughout Chicago. The investment combines a $13.5 million community development grant that the city previously awarded to Yellow Banana in July, with New Markets Tax Credits, third-party financing and funding from Yellow Banana.

Through this project, Yellow Banana will make upgrades to its Chicago stores, as well as re-open a former Save A Lot in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood that closed in 2020. The transaction comes as Walmart announced the permanent closure of four of its locations in Chicago.

Yellow Banana is owned by 127 Wall, which was co-founded by Michael Nance, Ademola Adewale-Sadik and Walker Brumskine. They are joined by operator and 127 Wall co-founder Joseph Canfield. Yellow Banana owns and operates about 40 stores in Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Jacksonville and Dallas.

“Where people grow up or live should not determine their access to healthy, affordable food options,” Nance said.

“We look forward to providing residents on Chicago’s South and West sides with a repositioned, quality grocery experience, and we are eager to engage with them as we determine the appropriate offerings for these locations. We understand that local engagement and collaboration will make these stores a success.”

The capital investments will be used to acquire the underlying real estate at five of Yellow Banana’s Chicago stores and at the Auburn Gresham site. Yellow Banana will then complete a comprehensive internal and external redevelopment at each location, including new flooring, lighting, equipment, HVAC, dairy and meat cases, interior and exterior paint, décor, fixtures and signage. The remodels will commence this spring and conclude over the next 12 months, during which time Yellow Banana will also re-open the store in Auburn Gresham.

“Yellow Banana has been brainstorming ways in which to breathe new life into the Save A Lot brand in Chicago ever since we first purchased the stores in 2021,” Canfield said.

“Countless professionals from dozens of organizations worked tirelessly to secure this investment and help deliver the shopping experience that hard-working Chicagoans deserve. This collaboration demonstrates our company’s commitment to providing quality, affordable, healthy groceries to the communities in which we operate.”

Save A Lot CEO Leon Bergmann said, “We are excited about Yellow Banana’s commitment to reshape the in-store experience for Save A Lot customers throughout the city’s South and West sides. The enhancements under way will ensure Chicagoans can continue to access fresh foods and quality brands at affordable prices for many years to come.”

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