The Save Mart Companies and Kingswood Capital Management, LP announced earlier this month that Shane Sampson has been named executive chairman of the California-based, regional grocery retailer.
Sampson is a fourth-generation grocer who brings nearly four decades of experience to The Save Mart Companies in building brands, implementing innovative marketing and merchandising programs, and leading strategic operations. He started his career in a local grocery store as a retail clerk and learned the grocery business from the ground up, which culminated in being named Albertsons Companies’ Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer. He was instrumental in driving Albertsons’ merchandising strategy during a period of monumental growth during which he oversaw significant development and innovation of digital and e-commerce strategies, rapidly scaled its private label brands and built customer and associate engagement across 2,300 stores. As a result, he was recognized as Mass Market Retailer’s Merchant of the Year in 2017 and received the Retail TouchPoints’ 2018 Innovator Award.
Prior to his position as CMMO at Albertsons, Sampson was also President of two separate Albertsons Divisions – Jewel-Osco and Shaws/Star Market. He also held leadership positions at Ahold’s Giant of Landover, Walmart’s Sam’s Club and Schwazze, a Dye Capital portfolio company based in Denver, Colorado. Most recently, Sampson held a leadership position at Jacksons Companies based in Meridian, Idaho, and served as a Board Member on their ExtraMile joint venture with Chevron.
“The Save Mart Companies team has built a wonderful operation in the Central Valley of California throughout their 70 years of serving their customers and communities,” said Sampson. “The family and leadership team have done a tremendous job in establishing and perpetuating a commitment to innovation and service, and I think there is an exceptional opportunity to invest in and grow The Save Mart Companies’ brands. I’m excited to join the company at such a pivotal time for the Save Mart, FoodMaxx, and Lucky California stores. I’m looking forward to leading the team into the next phase of growth and innovation and beyond.”
“We are thrilled to have Shane on the team,” said Alex Wolf, a Partner of Kingswood. “His retail acumen is unparalleled, and he has driven results across all the companies he’s been a part of leading. We’re looking forward to leveraging his significant retail experience into The Save Mart Companies’ operations.”
Kingswood Capital Management LP (“Kingswood”) acquired The Save Mart Companies, announcing the move in late March. Kingswood is an operationally-focused private equity firm based in Los Angeles, with significant experience in the retail sector. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“I’m excited for this opportunity with Kingswood to invest in and grow The Save Mart Companies family of stores,” said Chris McGarry, CEO of The Save Mart Companies. “The Piccinini family did a tremendous job in fostering a commitment to innovation and service as they built and grew this company in the Central Valley and throughout California. As a result, we have great stores and a committed team of 14,000 employees who provide fantastic local products and are wonderful stewards of the communities in which they live and work. While this change in ownership will be transparent to our team and customers, we know that this investment will benefit them and the communities we serve.”
With the addition of The Save Mart Companies, Kingswood is expanding its existing Northern California presence. It already owns Alameda-based Cost Plus World Market, which it acquired in January 2021 from Bed Bath and Beyond, and Mare Island-based Lind Marine, a diversified marine services business headquartered north of the San Francisco Bay, which it recapitalized in January 2022.
The Save Mart Companies, a Kingswood Capital Management, LP portfolio company and a California-based grocer, operates approximately 200 Save Mart, Lucky California, and FoodMaxx stores in the California Central Valley and Northern Nevada. In addition to its retail operation, the Company also operates SMART Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries (“SSI”), which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop, and the Sunnyside Farms dairy processing plant in Turlock.