Yellow Banana Secures Funding to Update, Reopen Save A Lot Stores in Chicago

Operator to use $26.5M investment to improve food access in underserved neighborhoods
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Save A Lot Chicago
As part of a multimillion-dollar investment deal, Save A Lot will remodel several Chicago-area locations in areas struggling with equitable food access.

The owner and operator of several Save A Lot locations in the city of Chicago – including a soon-to-open store in the Englewood neighborhood – is doubling down on its commitment to underserved areas in that market. Yellow Banana, owned by 127 Wall Holdings Inc., has revealed that it closed a $26.5 million investment earmarked for Save a Lot locations on the city’s South and West Sides. That investment includes a $13.5 million community development grant that was previously awarded to the business from the city of Chicago.

Many communities in those areas are considered food deserts, something that Yellow Banana is addressing with new and remodeled stores. In addition to opening the South Side Englewood location that previously housed a Whole Foods Market store, Yellow Banana is planning to update and reopen a former Save A Lot store in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, also on the South Side. The investment will also cover comprehensive upgrades to additional Save A Lot sites in the city, encompassing new flooring, lighting, equipment, HVAC, dairy and meat cases, interior and exterior paint, décor, fixtures, and signage.

According to Yellow Banana, the remodels, which will begin this spring and continue through the next year, reflect the company’s efforts to revitalize urban food systems. “Where people grow up or live should not determine their access to healthy, affordable food options,” said Michael Nance, co-founder of Cleveland, Ohio-based 127 Wall. “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.”

Added fellow co-founder Ademola Adewale-Sadik: “Yellow Banana’s triple commercial mandate is to deliver food access, job creation and economic development to our customers, colleagues and communities. Transforming these six sites into the community anchor tenants that these neighborhoods deserve will attract much-needed commercial activity over both the short and long terms, and this doubling down of our commitment to Chicago is in keeping with our mandate.”

Currently, the retail grocery platform Yellow Banana owns and operates nearly 40 stores in Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Jacksonville and Dallas.  Save A Lot has more than 850 stores in 32 states. The St. Ann, Mo.-based company is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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