Save-A-Lot to close this month


A sign on the door of the Save-A-Lot supermarket in Elizabeth City announces Tuesday that the store will be closing. An official for the company that owns the supermarket said Tuesday the store will close at the end of the month.


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Save-A-Lot supermarket in Elizabeth City is closing its doors after just a little more than two years in business.

Rachel Wing, a spokeswoman for Henderson-based Variety Wholesalers, which owns the supermarket, said the store in the 800 block of Halstead Boulevard will be shut down at the end of the month.

Wing said the supermarket was “a venture” Variety started to get into the discount grocery business. She said Variety felt Save-A-Lot would be a good pair with the company's discount general merchandising business. In fact, the Elizabeth City Save-A-Lot opened next door to Roses, which is also owned by Variety, in July 2015.

“But it ended up not panning out the way that we thought it would,” Wing said Tuesday evening.

Wing said all of the Elizabeth City Save-A-Lot employees have been offered positions at other Roses stores. She didn't immediately have a count of the number of Elizabeth City Save-A-Lot employees affected by the closing, but she estimated it’s “probably in the 25-30 range.”

She said the Elizabeth City Roses will remain open and will continue to offer non-perishable groceries. She also said Variety still operates a Save-A-Lot supermarket in the Raleigh area.

Based in St. Louis, Save-A-Lot bills itself as a “discount, limited assortment” grocery chain. Its first store opened in 1977.

The Save-A-Lot chain changed owners over the years before being acquired in 1993 by the Minneapolis area-based Supervalu chain. Supervalu's subsidiaries include Farm Fresh, which is based in Virginia's Hampton Roads area and operates a supermarket off South Hughes Boulevard.

In October 2016, Onex Corp., a Toronto-based private equity firm, acquired the Save-A-Lot chain for $1.37 billion. As part of the deal with Onex, Supervalu was supposed to provide services such as payroll and merchandising technology to Save-A-Lot for five years.

As of early this year, the Save-A-Lot chain had more than 3,600 corporate and licensed stores in 36 states, the Caribbean and Central America, as well as 16 wholesale distribution centers.