- Save a Lot is a discount grocery store located in over 30 states, and I shopped at one in Chicago.
- The store was smaller than most supermarkets, and products were in shipping boxes on shelves.
- Save a Lot’s delicious brands and intelligent design makes it a strong rival to Aldi.
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Aldi opened its first store in Germany in 1961. It came to the US in 1976 when it opened a store in Iowa and has gone on to become a juggernaut in the states with over 2,000 locations.
Save a Lot opened its first store in Illinois in 1977, eventually expanding throughout the Midwest and then to the East Coast. These days, it’s located in over 30 states, and there are more than 1,000 locations.
On average, Save a Lot stores are designed to be significantly smaller than a typical grocery store, “making it easy to find the items you’re looking for” and to “get in and out of stores quicker than large supermarkets,” according to the company’s website.
The aisles were also great for social distancing while shopping.
On the consumer side, I realized this no-frills display made it easier to see and grab each product.
The limited options help keep Save a Lot so cheap.
“We carry one size and one variety of each item,” Dan Kimack, the former communications manager at Save a Lot, told the Daily Press in 2003. “If it’s a can of whole-kernel corn, it’s going to be one size and one variety, and it’s going to be the most popular size and variety.”
I later tasted all three and found them to be just as delicious as the more famous brands you’d find at bigger grocery stores.
Although I could see this becoming a hassle if I did a large grocery haul, it was great for my three items because it made the check-out experience extremely fast.
“I’m on disability and really have to watch how I spend my money,” Betty Duffey, a shopper in Tampa, Florida, told the Tampa Bay Times in 2017. “At Publix, I’d spend $US200 ($AU271) a month for groceries. At Winn-Dixie, I’d spend probably around $US150 ($AU204). But at Save-A-Lot, I’ll spend $US80 ($AU109) for the same amount of food.”
Save a Lot only has just over 1,000 stores in the US, but I think it has the potential to catch up with Aldi’s popularity because the great deals, spacious aisles, delicious private brands, and focus on speediness is a recipe for success.