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Save-A-Lot grocery to open in Covington in 2011
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Covington is getting another grocery store in early 2011, as Save-A-Lot signed a lease this week to move into the anchor location in Covington Corners, the shopping center at northwest corner of Elm St. and U.S. Highway 278.

The 24,000 square foot location previously housed Food Depot and has been vacant for about four years, said John Brozovic, a regional leasing director for Halpern Enterprises.

The store opening is expected to create between 20 and 25 jobs, said Chone Tomlin, spokesperson for Save-A-Lot, and is part of a five-year plan to double the company’s number of domestic stores to 2,400. The company is a St. Louis based subsidiary of Supervalu.

Save-A-Lot will take up 18,500 square feet of the location, and the additional 5,500 ft. will be leased to another retailer, Brozovic said Friday. Unlike other shopping centers, Brozovic said Covington Corners has been a stable, and he expected Save-A-Lot’s entrance would help fill the other couple of vacancies.

"They realized that the metro Atlanta market is one they can make a play in, particularly on the outskirts in smaller towns," Brozovic said.

The company targets areas where household incomes are less than $45,000 per year, according to various media reports. Tomlin said Friday that Save-A-Lot is a hard discount retailer, meaning they sell a limited assortment of products at very competitive prices.

"When you compare us to traditional grocery, we won’t have delis and bakeries and seafood departments, but what you do have is 90 percent of things customers need on a daily basis," she said. "A limited assortment means we pare down products to give customers what they need. You won’t find aisles and aisles of salad dressings and you won’t find 15 types of ketchup, or several different varieties of mustards… no frills."

What customers will find are Save-A-Lot brands that will allow them to save 40 percent over traditional brands, while maintaining comparable quality, Tomlin said.