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Save-A-Lot restructures produce-buying office

by Tim Linden | June 27, 2010
Andrea Wagner has become the new vice president of fresh, and Jim Sarcletti was named the new director of produce, at Save-A-Lot, the discount chain affiliated with Supervalu Inc. and headquartered near St. Louis in Earth City, MO.

The Blue Book reported these changes earlier this month along with the departure of Mike Kemp, who joined Save-A-Lot in 2003 and was in charge of produce procurement as vice president of product segments.

The restructuring of the produce department was confirmed by Marty Head, a member of the Save-A-Lot produce buying office. Mr. Head did not give many details, but said that it was a decision that aimed to better fit the needs of the expanding operation and to streamline its buying activities. He said that the moves did not signify any change in the company's produce-buying procedures.

Save-A-Lot has been the growth vehicle for Supervalu in recent years, as that chain has struggled with declining sales at its individual locations, as indicated in its financial statements.

Save-A-Lot has been in an aggressive expansion mode with its number of outlets now approaching 1,300. It is a small-format store of typically fewer than 15,000 square feet, and it competes directly with Aldi's in many Midwest locations.

Ms. Wagner joined Save-A-Lot in 2008 as vice president of consumer-brand strategy. She was previously with both the Kroger and H.E. Butt Grocery Co. chains. When she was hired by Save-A-Lot, the company issued a press release stating that that Ms. Wagner "has a strong knowledge of Hispanic consumers."

According to The Blue Book, the restructuring of the produce buying office ran deep, as it listed 10 other people besides Mr. Kemp who are no longer associated with the retailer.