Supervalu Hires New Save-A-Lot CEO To Shepherd Chain’s Spin-off

Supervalu Hires New Save-A-Lot CEO To Shepherd Chain’s Spin-off

Eric Claus will replace Save-A-Lot’s current CEO starting January 4, 2016.

Supervalu has named Eric Claus as CEO of its Save-A-Lot discount chain.

Eden Prairie-based grocer said on Wednesday that Claus will be tasked with shepherding Save-A-Lot’s potential spin-off or sale, which is valued to be more than $1.7 billion.

Several private equity firms have reportedly expressed interest in buying Save-A-Lot, although those offers won’t be considered until early 2016 when it wraps up regulatory registration.

Claus, 59, spent the last two years as chairman and CEO of Ontario-based Red Apple Stores, a value-based retail chain with 155 locations across Canada. He will assume the leadership role at Save-A-Lot on January 4, 2016.

Additionally, Save-A-Lot’s CEO since 2013, Ritchie Casteel, is stepping down, but will remain as president. A reason for the positional change was not provided, nor did he give a statement in the company release.

However, Supervalu CEO Sam Duncan did mention Casteel in a statement. “Ritchie was one of my first appointments and he has done a phenomenal job these past two and one-half years,” Duncan said, while adding that he was a “tremendous leader.”

On the subject of Claus’ appointment, Duncan said that his “strengths in and experience with the hard discount format as well as his history leading retail companies will be important as we look to finish our fiscal year strong and as we continue to position Save-A-Lot for the future.”

Save-A-Lot currently employs 9,300 people at 1,342 stores nationwide. In Minnesota, Save-A-Lot has two stores, in Duluth and St. Cloud.