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    Inner-City Grocers To Compete with C-Stores

    Smaller sized supermarkets and selling strategies similar to Wal-Mart threaten surrounding businesses.

    RACINE, Wis. -- Convenience stores in inner cities could be challenged by grocery stores seeking to push them aside by offering healthier food and better prices, according to The Journal Times. This is the case in Racine, Wis., where a Save-A-Lot grocery store is opening.

    Activists believed such a store was important for healthy neighborhoods, serving as an affordable alternative to small, high-priced convenience stores, the report stated.

    The Save-A-Lot chain, a subsidiary of Supervalu, has more than 1,000 stores in 37 states, ranging in size from 12,000 to 18,000 square feet ? smaller than other grocery stores in the area such as a Pick 'n Save that is approximately 70,000 square feet, The Journal reported.

    The local Save-A-Lot carries about 1,250 of "the most frequently purchased grocery items," the company said. Those items are available in an "edited assortment," which means two things: First, there are a few nationally known brands sprinkled here and there, the report stated, but the vast majority of the foods are under custom brand names created exclusively for Save-A-Lot.

    Second, "edited assortment," means most foods are offered in just one popular size, such as an 18-ounce jar of peanut butter. Also, customers bag their own groceries.

    "The edited assortment of products, smaller size of the stores and incredible buying power work together to reduce operating expenses," according to the company.
    Save-A-Lot maintains it can save shoppers up to 40 percent when compared to a conventional grocery store, according to the report.

    However, Save-A-Lot does not sell alcohol or cigarettes.

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