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Save A Lot was founded in 1977 by Bill Moran as an alternative to larger supermarkets. He opened the first Save A Lot store in Cahokia, Illinois, and remained with the company until his retirement in 2006. Moran oversaw the expansion of his company from the one Cahokia store to more than 1,000 locations across the country. He was succeeded as President and CEO by Bill Shaner, previously COO of Save A Lot. Shaner began his career at Save A Lot in 1999 after spending 15 years in the operations division at parent company Supervalu. In May 2011, Bill Shaner was replaced as President and CEO of Save A Lot by Walmart veteran Santiago Roces, who most recently served as senior vice president and general manager of Walmart's small format division. In 1978, General Grocer Company expanded the company's presence in the greater St. Louis area. Eventually, the store network grew to 30 stores by the end of the decade. At the root of company's growth strategy is its licensee relationship, in which Save A Lot acts as a wholesaler to its independent store owners as opposed to a franchisor. Smaller, independent grocery retailers soon found the limited assortment model to be an effective defensive strategy against the larger chain supermarkets. With help from new licensees, in 1980 alone Save A Lot added 50 stores in the Mid-South region, and a warehouse in Jackson, Tennessee.
In 2002, Save A Lot acquired discount variety store chain Deals with 45 stores in the Midwest. The typical Deal$ store had a slightly smaller footprint than Save A Lot and carried mostly non-food merchandise at dollar-increment price points. The Deal$ concept was expanded under Save A Lot to 138 stores by 2006. The acquisition also allowed Save A Lot grocery stores to stock more general merchandise in its grocery stores. The company experimented with hypermarkets which combined the discount grocery and merchandise concepts under one roof. This eventually led to 480 combination stores that did not carry the Deal$ banner. In 2006, Save A Lot sold Deal$ to Dollar Tree for $30.5 million plus inventory. In 2009, Save A Lot expanded its presence internationally. In the Caribbean, Save A Lot opened the first three international licensee grocery stores in Aruba, Freeport- Bahamas and Dominica. Expansion continued with secondary locations opening in Aruba and 8 mile Rock-Bahamas. International interest and growth continued with additional stores opening in St. Vincent, Curaçao, Trinidad and Tobago- (Mount Hope and Diego Martin). From the Caribbean, expansion moved to Central America establishing the brand with the opening of two retail sites in Guatemala City. Grenada was the last international licensee scheduled opening. As of 2018, with the change of corporate ownership the overall corporate strategy shifted to focus all efforts on stateside store growth. The international retail licenses were dissolved and existing international accounts were converted to wholesale accounts. The international stores no longer operate under the Save A Lot brand name or Save A Lot Licensee agreement but as independent retailers. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)