Grocer SuperValu may separate discount retailer Save-A-Lot into separate company

Markets Associated Press

SuperValu says it is considering spinning off its discount grocer Save-A-Lot into a separate publicly traded company as competition in the industry intensifies.

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The company says the split will help each company focus on finding ways to grow. SuperValu Inc. has been getting smaller in recent years, selling its Albertson's, Jewel-Osco and other chains.

Rival chains have been combining. Last month, the owner of Stop & Shop and Giant stores said it will merge with the parent company of Food Lion to operate 6,500 stores around the world.

Save-A-Lot has more than 1,300 stores around the country, selling fresh meat, vegetables and other groceries. Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based SuperValu distributes grocery items to nearly 3,600 stores and also operates the Cub Foods and Shop 'N Save chains.