Save-a-Lot grocery store

Fences remain around the perimeter of the new Save-a-Lot grocery store as construction continues at the location formerly utilized by Superfresh at the East Drive Shopping Center in Arbutus. (Staff photo by Brian Krista / January 27, 2012)

The former site of the Superfresh grocery store on East Drive will have a new occupant just before the official start of spring.

Save-A-Lot, a St. Louis-based discount grocery store, will open for business March 16, according to Chon Tomlin, a spokeswoman for the company.

Save-A-Lot currently has eight locations within 10 miles of Arbutus, according to its website.

About 80 percent of Save-A-Lot's merchandise are store brands, which can be found at any of the store's more than 1,300 locations across the United States, Tomlin said


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"Our stores are usually half to a third the size of a typical grocery store," said Tomlin, noting the Arbutus store will be 19,980 square feet.

"Because of the smaller footprint, we're able to pass along savings of up to 40 percent when compared to a traditional grocer," Tomlin said.

Besides a lack of name brands, one of the major differences customers will notice between Save-A-Lot and larger grocery stores, Tomlin said, is the departments.

Instead of having an on-site bakery, for example, the store will have its baked goods delivered fresh each morning, Tomlin said.

Before the store begins stocking its shelves, though, it needs a couple more weeks of construction, Tomlin said.

"At this point, they should be nearing the end of any of the actual construction and renovations," Tomlin said. "The last couple of weeks prior to opening is a lot of deliveries and setting up the inside."

The opening will come 11 months after Superfresh's parent company, the Great Atlantic Pacific and Tea Co., announced it would sell the store at 5101 East Drive along with 21 of its 23 other stores in Maryland.

When the Superfresh closed, it left many of the area residents who do not drive in a bind, said Patti Sue Nolan, president of the Arbutus Business and Professional Association.

Because they didn't have a way to get to any of the other grocery stores, Nolan said some residents shop at the Dollar General for their groceries.

"It could be a church. It could be a gym. It could be a lot of things, but it's not," Nolan said. "What could be better than walking to your neighborhood grocery store?"

The store plans to hire about two dozen employees and will begin the hiring process about six weeks before the store is scheduled to open, Tomlin said.

Tomlin encouraged people to apply for the positions through the company's website, savealot.com/careers.