Local entrepreneur opens new Save-A-Lot in Pickens

PICKENS — With the opening of his company’s third Save-A-Lot food store in the Upstate Wednesday, Dwayne Goodwin is fulfilling a lifetime dream of owning his own community grocery stores.
Goodwin is president and CEO of The Goodwin Group Holdings, LLC and a grocery executive for 24 years.
Save-A-Lot, the nation’s leading hard discount grocery chain, will be located at 529 Hampton Avenue on Highway 8, only minutes away from the Easley home that Goodwin shares with his wife and four daughters.
Goodwin grew up in the grocery store business with his father a supervisor for the Red Food chain in Tennessee. Goodwin began his own grocery career 24 years ago with Red Food stores in Chattanooga as a bagger with a red bow tie, a smile and passion for the business and his customers. Goodwin quickly progressed to manage his first store and accomplished many jobs within the company and then Bi-lo once it purchased the Red Food chain. Bi-lo moved Goodwin to Greenville, where he served multiple roles, most recently as vice president in operations for nine years before deciding to step out on his own in 2010.
“I’ve always told myself that before I reach the age of 40, I want to own my own grocery stores and try to make a difference where I can in the area where I live,” said Goodwin. “Well, I turned 40 last year, and here we are about to open our third store in the Upstate which has brought new jobs and quality food at a great value to each community while transforming unused real estate into thriving businesses.”
The Pickens store will be Goodwin’s third in just a year. Goodwin opened his first Save-A-Lot food store in West Union in August 2010 and his second in Laurens in November 2010, both to record attendance and sales. Plans include the opening of one or two more within the next year.
“I don’t have a goal number of stores in mind,” said Goodwin. “The intent is not to just own a lot of stores, but to grow thoughtfully in locations throughout the Upstate that have a need and a market for what Save-A-Lot can bring to a community.”
Offering a selection of exclusive and national brands, USDA-inspected quality meats, farm fresh produce, dairy, health and beauty aids, pet food and household products at everyday low prices, Save-A-Lot shoppers enjoy savings up to 40 percent when compared to conventional grocery stores — without sacrificing quality.
Save-A-Lot operates nearly 1,300-plus grocery stores in 39 states with licensed retailers such as Goodwin operating approximately 75 percent of the stores and plans to double the total number of stores over the next five years. It is the nation’s leading extreme value, edited assortment grocer and the third largest chain under a single banner, serving more than five million shoppers each week. The edited assortment format means that stores carry only the most frequently purchased grocery items, plus quality meats and produce. With 15 distribution centers strategically located across the U.S. combined with the edited assortment model, smaller stores, power buying and great operation efficiencies, gives Save-A-Lot the ability to offer savings of up to 40 percent compared to conventional grocery stores without asking shoppers to sacrifice quality.
This business model is what drew Goodwin to the Save-A-Lot company.
“I believe there are several components to our business model that are positive attributes to a successful business,” he said. “The amount of vacant real estate and the opportunity to revitalize these properties and create additional jobs as well as lower prices on groceries in a tough economy is a win for every community we can support. And as proud members of the Pickens community, we look forward to serving budget-conscious, value-seeking families in the area.”
Save-A-Lot opens its doors on Wednesday, June 1, at 9 a.m. in Pickens. The store will employ approximately 30-35 full-time and part-time jobs and will be open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.