Save-A-Lot is ready for opening day Tuesday in Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers: Save-A-Lot’s new owners and employees in Albion held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon at the store at 320 West Ave. They were joined by some local elected officials. Pictured from left includes: Co-owner Bill Larson; Rob Coyle, district manager for Save-A-Lot; Nancy Larson, Bill’s wife; Dylan Burkhardt, lead stock; Alyssa Kenward, front-end manager; Lura Kenward, store manager; Albion Mayor Eileen Banker; Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of Orleans County Legislature; co-owner John Hedlund; Gary Katsanis, Albion village trustee; and Mitchell Hedlund and Dustin Hedlund, both John Hedlund’s sons who are active in the business.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 June 2018 at 9:10 pm

ALBION – The community can step inside the new Save-A-Lot store in Albion beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and see how the store has been transformed since January by owners John Hedlund and Bill Larson.

The store used to have a red-color scheme and that has been replaced with blue and gray. The shelves have been replaced and they are shorter and the aisles are wider to give an open space feel, Hedlund said today before a ribbon-cutting celebration with local elected officials.

The Albion store is the first Save-A-Lot with the new store design.

Hedlund and Larson put in a new public bathroom and changed the former video store into an office and bagging area.

The owners have invested in energy-efficient LED lights and more efficient motors to power equipment.

John Hedlund is pictured in the revamped Save-A-Lot in Albion. The store opens its doors at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Hedlund, a North Tonawanda resident, owns a Save-A-Lot in Salamanca and is co-owner of the stores in Batavia and Le Roy.

The owners also run the Batavia and Le Roy Save-A-Lot stores and those nearby sites will provide a synergy with Albion, ensuring a selection of food at low prices, Hedlund said.

The Albion store has kept the meat department, and Larson said Save-A-Lot wants to establish relationships with local farmers to sell produce.

The Pawlak family ran a Save-A-Lot for about 14 years in Albion until the store closed in November. In January, John Hedlund signed a lease to take over the space and reopen a Save-A-Lot.

But first extensive upgrades would be done with new refrigeration, electrical – an overall transformation of the space.

He praised the plaza’s owner, Westwood Financials, for being “very accommodating” to get the space upgraded.

The new store has 20-25 employees. Lura Kenward is the store manager, Zech Simpson is the assistant store manager, and Greg Webster is the meat department manager.

The first 100 customers on Tuesday will receive $5 gift cards.

Albion Mayor Eileen Banker, who is chief of staff for Assemblyman Steve Hawley, presents a  certificate to John Hedlund from Hawley in recognition of reopening a Save-A-Lot in Albion. She is joined by Ron Vendetti, Albion’s code enforcement officer, and Lisa Stratton, president of the Albion Merchants Association.

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