Save-A-Lot opens Englewood location in light of community opposition

Members of the Residents Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E) protest the new Save-A-Lot | Photo via R.A.G.E Facebook

Discount grocery chain Save-A-Lot officially launched its new Englewood location at 832 W 63rd Street on May 11, despite ongoing protests from community members. The opening comes after Whole Foods shuttered its flagship southside location in 2022, leaving a void in a community plagued by food scarcity.

Englewood residents have voiced concerns about Save-A-Lot being an adequate replacement for the former Whole Foods. Issues regarding quality and cleanliness have been raised, leading to skepticism about the new store's ability to meet the community's needs.

Residents have also expressed dissatisfaction with the location’s parent company, retail grocery operator Yellow Banana, feeling the company has been uncooperative.

Officials from Yellow banana met with community members at a forum on May 3, in an effort to address their concerns. When met with questions about Save-A-Lot’s reputation, Yellow Banana CEO Joe Canfield stated that the company’s products are of good quality, while noting that improvements can always be made.

According to the Sun-Times, attendees of the discussion largely rebuked the company’s claims. “Englewood is standing for something,” resident Joseph Williams said. “We aren’t falling for anything you guys want to give us … We’re not going to be your pilot program.”

Alderwoman Stephanie Coleman of the 16th ward has supported the community in their efforts, which include a boycott planned by the Residents Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E).

Yellow Banana previously attempted a soft opening of the location in April, which led to a community protest, forcing the company to scrap the plan. According to Yellow Banana co-owner Michael Nance, protestors of the soft opening “refused to come in to even see what was there” (Block Club Chicago).

In light of recent challenges, representatives from Yellow Banana have expressed hope that the local community will give the Save-A-Lot a chance. CEO Joe Canfield said in a statement, “We thought it was best to open the doors and let the community decide for themselves on how they felt about things."

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