As part of Save A Lot's conversion to local ownership, Ascend Grocery will focus on providing a wider variety of fresh and quality produce and meats in 33 stores operating under the banner in Florida.
As part of the discount grocer’s ongoing efforts to convert corporate-owned stores to local ownership, Save A Lot has recently completed the sale of 33 stores across the greater Orlando, Fla., area to Ascend Grocery LLC.
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 seasoned 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 CEO Sherrell. “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.”
As part of the conversion, Ascend Grocery will retain the 400 store associates who work at the 33 Save A Lot stores. Ascend Grocery also plans to increase each store’s assortment of ethnic and locally sourced food items, with a focus on providing a wider variety of fresh, quality produce and meats.
In addition, beginning this year, all Ascend Grocery stores will undergo a significant remodel to fully reflect Save A Lot’s updated brand image and deliver an enhanced shopping environment both inside and out. Save A Lot revealed in July 2021 its plan to remodel all of its locations to reflect a more contemporary brand. Customers of the Orlando locations will soon find new décor and 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 communities in which it operates 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.”
In November 2021, Save A Lot expanded its retail partnership with Yellow Banana LLC through the sale of six company-owned stores in Dallas and Jacksonville, Fla., bringing the retail grocery platform’s total Save A Lot store count to 38 stores in five states.
Save A Lot has more than 900 stores in 32 states, and 14 wholesale distribution centers. The Earth City, Mo.-based company is No. 57 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.