- Save-A-Lot is adding former Lidl executive Kevin Proctor to its executive team, according to Supermarket News. Proctor is the second Lidl veteran to join the grocery retailer following former Lidl CEO Kenneth McGrath, who took the same role at Save-A-Lot earlier this month.
- The retailer hasn't made an official announcement of Proctor's appointment, but he is expected to join the company on April 21 with McGrath.
- These executive changes represent the first big personnel moves at Save-A-Lot since the company was sold to the private equity form Onex in 2016.
With both Aldi and Lidl making waves in the U.S. market, Save-A-Lot is doing what it can to make sure it doesn’t fall too far behind in the discount retail space. The first 20 of Lidl's U.S. stores will open this summer in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, and an additional 80 locations will open within a year.
Similar to other discount retailers, Save-A-Lot has embraced a less-is-more strategy by stripping out the bells and whistles at their stores while funneling the savings into lower prices popular with cash-strapped consumers.
With more than 1,300 stores in 37 states, the retailer has a strong U.S. footprint, but heated competition, deflation and recent cuts to SNAP have put pressure on the chain’s earnings and sales. Lidl is poised to further weaken the retailer, as its stores offer the same combination of price, quality and convenience as Save-A-Lot.
Some analysts believe the chain may be moving toward a European-style hard discount model to compete with the likes of Aldi and Lidl, while others think it could head back to more traditional discount routes. These executive changes seem to imply the former, as Proctor and McGrath are very familiar with European grocery strategies, which rely heavily on premium private label brands.
It will be interesting to see if the chain snaps up more Lidl execs in the coming months, and if these industry vets can successfully adapt Save-A-Lot's business strategy to compete against the incoming German retailer. Struggling Save-A-Lot could sure use a boost.