Save Mart Supermarkets

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Save Mart Supermarkets
Industry Retail / Grocery
Founded January 17, 1952; 64 years ago (January 17, 1952)
Headquarters Modesto, California, U.S.
Number of locations
Decrease 211
Key people
Robert M. Piccinini, Chairman/CEO (deceased)
Steve Junqueiro, President/COO
Frank Capps, EVP/CSO
James Sims, VP/CIO
James Orr, SVP/CSCO
Products Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, general grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor
Revenue Steady US$4.5 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
Decrease 16,000 (2016)[2]

Save Mart Supermarkets (also known as The Save Mart Companies) is an American privately held company faced with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. It owns and operates supermarkets operating under the names of Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, and FoodMaxx located in Northern California and Northern Nevada (some of its stores are former Albertsons locations).


Save Mart Supermarkets owns and operates 211 stores in Northern and Central California and Northern Nevada under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, FoodMaxx and MaxxValue Foods banners.

Albertsons acquisition[edit]

On November 27, 2006, Save Mart announced an agreement to acquire 132 Albertsons LLC stores in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Save Mart officially began operating the new stores in late February 2007, and the acquired stores will gradually be re-branded over the course of nine months.[3] Those in the Bay Area are being rebranded Lucky, whereas the rest are being opened under the Save Mart banner.


This Pacific Grove, California supermarket was one of several former Albertsons stores acquired by Save Mart in 2007.[4]

President and COO Steve Junqueiro announced the company will undergo Organizational changes for the company's support areas. After recent cutbacks of personnel at the 4 store banners (FoodMaxx, Lucky, S-Mart Foods, and Save Mart), the company will now see a series of changes within their corporate support departments, as well as distribution centers. In December 2008 the company underwent rigorous department analysis and job justifications. Since then they have already made organizational changes in their Merchandising departments as a result of their sudden growth in acquisitions and duplication of duties and administrative overhead.

In addition, it was announced that the pay for performance program will be suspended this year for all employees, due to insufficient funds, and those employees that would normally receive a year end compensation adjustment will not be receiving it for the year ending 2008. Also, all bonused employees will not be receiving bonuses for the quarter ending December, 2008. Conversely, during the department analysis and job justifications process, as of January, 2009, the company proceeded to promote various members of its organization along with wage increases for those individuals unannounced to the remainder of the company. As of November 2014 compensation increases have not been resumed.

The company also gained much notoriety in 2007–2008 after NewsWeek published an article about its fast tracked management style after promoting their web developer and consultant by naming him their Chief Information Officer and VP of Information Technology. Much speculation grew thereafter and many Corporate publishers considered this as possibly one of the biggest duping's in Corporate history. The article compared him with MSNBC's Dateline story on Fred Brito. In late 2008 the company confronted their CIO about his personal resume being found on various job sites. Some have even claimed that before being a web developer, he was a door to door salesman in 1999–2000.[citation needed]

Company history[edit]

  • 1952 – January 17: The first Save Mart store opens in Modesto, California.
  • 1973 – Yosemite Wholesale opens in Modesto.
  • 1981 – Bob Piccinini is named president.
  • 1984 – Save Mart Supermarkets partners with two other retailers to launch Mid-Valley Dairy, producer of Sunnyside Farms products. SMART Refrigerated Transport opens in Turlock.
  • 1985 – Bob Piccinini purchases Save Mart Supermarkets and becomes CEO.
  • 1986 – Save Mart Supermarkets moves its corporate headquarters to 1800 Standiford Avenue in Modesto. In partnership with the Fleming Company, the company opens its first two price-impact stores in Bakersfield, under the Food Maxx banner.
  • 1988 – Save Mart Supermarkets partners with two other retailers to open Sunnyside Farms Dairy by-product plant in Turlock.
  • 1989 – Save Mart Supermarkets acquires 27 Fry’s Supermarkets in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • 1991 – Save Mart Supermarkets helps found and becomes a voting partner in Super Store Industries (SSI).
  • 1997 – Save Mart Supermarkets purchases 10 Lucky stores in the Central Valley.
  • 2003 – Save Mart Supermarkets acquires 25 Food 4 Less stores and rebrands them FoodMaxx.
  • 2007 – Save Mart Supermarkets acquires Albertsons stores in the Metro Sacramento area, San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley, and Northern Nevada, and converts them to Lucky and Save Mart stores.

Banners and brands[edit]

Checkout lanes inside a Save Mart (formerly known as Albertsons) supermarket in Pacific Grove, California.

Save Mart Supermarkets encompasses a number of store banners and private label product brands.

Save Mart stores are full-service grocery stores with a broad product offering, including service and fresh food departments. Save Mart stores offer fresh products, bakery goods, deli foods and ethnic foods.

S-Mart Foods stores are full-service grocery stores operating in Stockton and Lodi, California. They provide the same offerings as the Save Mart full-service stores owned by the company in other Northern California and Northern Nevada markets. The Save Mart stores in Stockton and Lodi are not owned by Save Mart Supermarkets.

Lucky Supermarkets are full-service grocery stores operating in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their high-value offerings include fresh products, bakery and deli-prepared foods, and focused ethnic offerings.

FoodMaxx is a price-impact banner operating with a no-frills format. While the assortment of products at FoodMaxx stores is not as broad as in the company’s full-service banners, the stores provide fresh products. These stores offer products at warehouse-store prices to the consumer without a store club membership fee.

MaxxValue Foods is much like Save Mart while offering products at warehouse-store prices to the consumer without a store club membership fee.

Store brands[edit]

  • Sunny Select – juices and foods
  • Valu Time – packaged foods and general merchandise
  • Sunnyside Farms – dairy and frozen foods
  • Bayview Farms – dairy and frozen foods
  • Pacific Coast Selections – fresh and packaged foods
  • Pacific Coast Café – coffee
  • Full Circle – organic packaged foods
  • Master Cut – meats
  • Maxx Value – meats
  • Master Catch – fish and seafood
  • Top Care – over-the-counter medications
  • Paws Premium – pet food

Distribution infrastructure[edit]

Super Store Industries (Lathrop) capitalizes on the combined buying power of more than one privately owned grocery chain. Economies of scale enable the partners, including Save Mart Supermarkets, to purchase or produce products at low cost. They can then (if they wish) pass on the savings to their customers and maintain a competitive edge. SSI also produces and packages bottled beverages, cultured dairy products, and frozen dairy products for several brands, including Sunnyside Farms yogurt, Stater Brothers ice cream, and Minute Maid orange juice. SSI owns and operates Sunnyside Farms (Fairfield) and Sunnyside Farms Dairy (Turlock).[5]

  • Yosemite Wholesale (Merced) is a dry and packaged good warehouse servicing all of the company’s stores.
  • Save Mart Supermarkets Distribution Centers (Roseville and Vacaville) service all of the company’s stores.
  • SMART Refrigerated Transport (Lathrop) is a trucking firm that transports dry groceries, frozen foods, ice, and novelties to all of Save Mart Supermarkets’ stores. The company also works as an outside contractor hauling products for other retailers.

2011 Lucky Stores card-swipe thefts[edit]

In November 2011, hundreds of Lucky's customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area reported being victims of card-swipe thefts the previous month that involved the placement of card-swiping equipment on the stores' self-serve checkout stands, including extra circuit boards. Card information of customers, including personal identification numbers (PIN) may have been retrieved by the criminals. Some customers reported having money withdrawn from their accounts. The company advised affected customers to contact their financial institutions.[6] Lucky also advised some customers to close their accounts.

Store closures[edit]

Save Mart Supermarkets announced the closure of stores in Clovis, Delano, Elk Grove, Folsom, Fresno, Kerman, Merced, Milpitas, Modesto, Sanger, Tracy and Yuba City, due to competition, higher prices and other reasons.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]


2013 lawsuit[edit]

Save Mart Supermarkets was ordered by a judge to pay $2.55 million in civil penalties, costs and expenses for supplemental projects.[18][19]

2015 lawsuit[edit]

Save Mart Supermarkets was ordered by a judge to pay thousands in back pay and damages to distribution center workers in Vacaville and Roseville.[20][21]


  1. ^ "Save Mart Supermarkets on the Forbes America's Largest Private Companies List". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  2. ^ "#65 Save Mart Supermarkets". 
  3. ^ Save Mart Supermarkets confirms sale of Albertson's Northern California division (PDF), Save Mart Supermarkets, February 23, 2007.
  4. ^ Calderon, Victor (2007-07-09). "Save Mart in, Albertsons out". The Salinas Californian. p. 1. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  5. ^ "Hey Moo!". Super Store Industries. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Vivian Ho (December 9, 2011). "500-plus victims of card-swipe scam at Lucky". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 21 December 2011. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Save Mart Closing Two Stores | Retail & Financial content from". Supermarket News. 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  8. ^ "Local News". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  9. ^ MIKE NORTH - "Save Mart closing two Merced stores | The Merced Sun-Star The Merced Sun-Star". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  10. ^ "Save-Mart To Close Store In Elk Grove « CBS Sacramento". 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  11. ^ Bowers, Wes. "Milpitas Save Mart to close – San Jose Mercury News". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  12. ^ Stapley, Garth. "Save Mart to close grocery store in downtown Modesto | The Modesto Bee The Modesto Bee". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  13. ^ Gene Garaygordobil, Maria Ahumada-Garaygordobil. "Delano Save Mart sells to competitor, closing later this month". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  14. ^ Eric Vodden/Appeal-Democrat. "Yuba City's Save Mart will close in March – Appeal-Democrat: News". Appeal-Democrat. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  15. ^ "Local News". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  16. ^ April 28, 2015. "Biz Buzz: FoodMaxx to replace 11th Street Save Mart – Golden State Newspapers: Tracy Press News". Golden State Newspapers. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  17. ^ "Save Mart Supermarkets closing grocery store in Folsom – Sacramento Business Journal". 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  18. ^ April 28, 2015. "$2.6 million settlement in Save Mart lawsuit – Business". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  19. ^ "Save Mart to pay $2.5M from hazardous waste suit". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  20. ^ "Save Mart to pay thousands in back pay, damages to distribution center workers in Vacaville, Roseville". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  21. ^ "Central Valley Business Times". Central Valley Business Times. 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 

External links[edit]