Save A Lot is expanding its retail partnership throughout Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin as it continues to convert corporate stores to local ownership.
As part of its ongoing efforts to convert corporate-owned stores to local ownership, Save A Lot has completed the sale of 32 company-owned stores across the greater Cleveland, greater Chicago and greater Milwaukee areas to Yellow Banana LLC. The 32 stores generate annual revenues in excess of $130 million, immediately positioning Yellow Banana as one of Save A Lot’s largest retail partners nationwide.
The retail grocery platform Yellow Banana aims to deliver essential nutrition to working families at affordable prices. It was founded in 2021 as a subsidiary of 127 Wall Holdings LLC, a minority-owned holding company that supports promising entrepreneurs and businesses by delivering the capital and operational insight that they need to effectively scale.
“We are thrilled to partner with Save A Lot on this opportunity to invest in underserved, predominantly minority communities in three major cities,” said Walker Brumskine, co-founder of Cleveland-based 127 Wall Holdings.
Yellow Banana intends to employ all of the 400-plus store associates and maintain their current wages, health insurance and retirement benefits. The stores will continue to emphasize convenience, offer high-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 significant remodel in 2022 to fully reflect Save A Lot’s updated brand image, delivering an enhanced shopping environment both inside and outside the stores. Improvements will include new décor and upgraded flooring and lighting, as well as updated produce and meat cases.
127 Wall Holdings co-founder Michael 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," he said. "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."
“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,” added Joseph Canfield, 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.”
Save A Lot revealed in July its plan to remodel all of its locations by 2024 to reflect a more contemporary brand. The new store design features a modern evolution of the brand inspired by customer and employee feedback. Customers will find a lighter, brighter and easier-to-shop footprint that includes new décor and an enhanced shopping environment.
“This refresh positively supports our efforts to further evolve and gain new shoppers, retain our current shoppers, and increase our basket size," said Kenneth McGrath, CEO of Save A Lot. "We’re particularly pleased to collaborate and co-invest with so many of our independent retail partners to make this possible.”
As part of its brand refresh, the discount retailer recently debuted a multi-tiered marketing campaign featuring an original song and music video. The campaign, created by the retailer’s agency, VIA, includes catchy 15- and 30-second spots with the theme of “Like, A Lot A Lot,” helmed by a director who won an MTV Video of the Year Award for an effort featuring singer Taylor Swift.