ORLANDO, Fla.–Save A Lot, one of the largest discount grocery chains in the U.S., today announced the completion in December of 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 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 Chris 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.”
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 with an emphasis on convenience and high-quality products at a great value and extraordinary customer service. Stores will also 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.”
Solomon Partners served as financial advisor to Save A Lot in connection with the transaction.
About Ascend Grocery, LLC
Ascend Grocery, LLC (“Ascend Grocery”) was founded by a team of highly successful and experienced grocery and investment executives to acquire and open new Save A Lot Hometown Grocer locations in established and new markets. Ascend Grocery aspires to best serve its customers and communities by providing high quality products, at affordable prices with a superior retail experience.
About Save A Lot
Founded in 1977, Save A Lot is one of the largest discount grocery store chains in the U.S., with over 900 stores in 32 states. Save A Lot remains true to its mission of being a neighborhood grocer, providing unmatched quality and value to local families. Customers enjoy significant savings compared to traditional grocery stores on great tasting, high quality private label brands, national brand products, USDA-inspected meat, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, and other non-food items. For more information visit www.SaveALot.com and follow Save A Lot on Facebook (facebook.com/savealot) and Instagram (@SaveALotFoodStores).