MODESTO, Calif. — Former Albertsons Cos. executive Shane Sampson was named this month as executive chairman of regional supermarket operator Save Mart Cos., which has 204 stores in Northern California and Nevada. The appointment was announced a week after Save Mart was acquired by a Los Angeles-based private investment group, Kingswood Capital Management LP.
Save Mart, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, employs 16,000 people and operates grocery stores under the Save Mart, Lucky, Lucky California, FoodMaxx and Maxx Value Food banners.
The business was founded by Nick Tocco and Mike Piccinini in California’s Central Valley and had been run by the Piccininis as California’s largest family-owned grocer prior to the sale to Kingswood. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In announcing the hire of Sampson, Save Mart’s new owner noted that he began his grocery career nearly four decades ago as a store clerk and went on to assume roles in brand building, marketing and merchandising. Kingswood credited Sampson with playing an instrumental role 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.
“The Save Mart 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 brands.”
Sampson’s previous leadership roles include president of two separate Albertsons divisions: Jewel-Osco and Shaws/Star Market. He also held executive positions at Ahold’s Giant of Landover, Walmart’s Sam’s Club and Medicine Man Technologies, a vertically integrated cannabis company headquartered in Denver.
More recently, Sampson played a leadership role at Meridian, Idaho-based Jacksons Food Stores, where he served as a director on the grocer’s ExtraMile joint venture with San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron Corp.