MODESTO, Calif. — Save Mart Supermarkets here, which opened a 34,000-square-foot, limited-assortment Maxx Value Foods store a year ago, plans to add more units of this banner but at a much smaller size – no more than 20,000 square feet, said Ray Agah, the chain’s vice president of engineering.
A smaller Maxx Value will offer lower costs in rents, cooling, heating and cleaning, said Agah, who spoke about the format in September at the Food Marketing Institute’s Energy & Store Development Conference in Atlanta. In addition, “we need to make it smaller because customers really like a smaller footprint,” he said. “Stores that are 200,000 or 80,000 square feet are too big for the customer who is time-starved.”
The initial Maxx Value, also located here, is a converted Save Mart that features about 17,000 SKUs, compared with a mix of 50,000 to 60,000 SKUs at a conventional Save Mart. However, future Maxx Value units will offer not more than 10,000 SKUs, said Agah. The offerings will also be “dictated by the neighborhoods we serve,” Alicia Rockwell, a spokeswoman for the chain, told SN last week. The original store was designed for Hispanic and Asian shoppers.
Prices at Maxx Value are comparable to Save Mart’s other price-oriented banner, FoodMaxx, which has 45 units. Save Mart also operates stores under Save Mart, S Mart and Lucky, for a total of 244 stores.
Save Mart has “plans to open more [Maxx Value stores] as the opportunities arise,” said Rockwell, declining to provide a specific timeline. Agah noted at the conference that the chain “is going to do a lot of these” and has “a lot on the drawing board to convert or use available real estate.”