NEW YORK — Supervalu  will likely increase the percentage of owned Save-A-Lot stores to licensed locations, at least in the near term, to meet growth goals for the limited-assortment chain, Pamela Knous, chief financial officer, said in a presentation at the Citibank Food & Drug Retail Conference here Tuesday. The company historically has owned 20% of its stores, with 80% run by licensees.
Minneapolis-based Supervalu has said it plans to double the 1,200-store Save-A-Lot chain over five years.
As previously reported, Supervalu will complete its push to double the number of its Save-A-Lot stores in part by relaxing corporate restrictions on the styles of buildings they occupy.
Knous noted that prior policy requiring that Save-A-Lot stores resemble one another had bogged down the chain’s growth rate and made developing the stores too expensive in recent years. That changed beginning last fall when “we just let the building be the building,” she explained. “We’ve become a lot more accepting of the building as it exists and as a result of that we’re seeing capital costs come down by 30% on stores we opened in the [most recent] fourth quarter.”
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