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On a conference call with analysts this week Supervalu CEO Sam Duncan said that Save-A-Lot had gotten away from its roots in the past couple of years, and that his plan was to return the company to its private label roots.
“The cost structure had gotten out of line, which meant our licensees and corporate stores were not as competitive as they should be,” he told analysts, according to transcripts of the call from Seeking Alpha. “Save-A-Lot’s merchandise mix had strayed from the private label focus that drove compelling price points and bought great value to customers. And as a result, the store growth was simply not happening.
“Moving forward, our focus will be on a low-cost operator, both in our stores at the headquarters. We will get back to the roots of what makes Save-A-Lot great, and ensure our teams have the basic blocking and tackling skills in place to serve our customers.”
That means adding new private label products and refreshing the lineup as well, Duncan said.
“In the fourth quarter, we introduced 200 new private label items and plan to add to that number during fiscal ’14. We are also redesigning and refreshing a good portion of our packaging to make a good portion of our assortment more appealing to shoppers.”