Supervalu is enhancing its vision to become America's Neighborhood Grocer with new projects focused on improving the competitive performance at the company's traditional retail grocery stores, and on growing its Save-A-Lot and independent retail businesses. To achieve its vision, the company is investing in and deploying new tools and capabilities to support its diverse variety of owned and licensed formats and the many different independent grocers through which consumers are served daily.

Supervalu CEO and president Craig Herkert said, "We are focused on acting as one company, working toward a common goal of delivering increased value to all of our customers and meeting their needs neighborhood by neighborhood."

The company's senior management team outlined key initiatives the company is undertaking to reverse sales declines at its traditional retail banners and get them back on the path to growth. The efforts underway include:

Sharpening the traditional retail banners' value proposition through a fair everyday pricing plus promotion strategy;

Enhancing fresh offerings, which includes providing customers with more locally grown produce, introducing a new "Just Baked" program to ensure the availability of fresh-baked breads and rolls throughout the day, and improving deli department offerings with new products like grilled chicken;

Developing and maintaining a portfolio of compelling private brand products that differentiate our retail outlets from our competition and provide more competitive value for customers;

Better matching store assortment and format to the needs of each neighborhood; and

Providing a more hassle-free experience both in-store and online.

In discussing its private brands program, Herkert said that the company expects to deliver a 100 basis point annual improvement in private brand sales per year over the next three years. As part of its plans, the company announced that it intends to move to a new single national-brand-equivalent private brand -- Essential Everyday -- to replace existing banner-branded products. With the introduction of the Essential Everyday brand, which will roll-out in phases, the company will be able to realize significant savings through packaging and taking a more national approach to advertising and promotions.

The company also plans to expand its Shoppers Value entry price-point private brand line and will be launching or relaunching 80 new items in the coming months.

At the meeting, the company discussed its plans to continue to aggressively support the national expansion of Save-A-Lot, its hard-discount format. Those plans include growing Save-A-Lot by 160 new stores in fiscal 2012, keeping the company on track to reach its goal of building a network of more than 2,400 stores by 2015.

The Save-A-Lot portfolio includes a blend of 30 percent corporate-owned and 70 percent licensee-operated stores. This multiple-ownership model supports the company's aggressive growth strategy, while helping it conserve capital.

During the meeting, the company announced the addition of the Save-A-Lot Today brand to its private brand program. The new Save-A-Lot Today brand is an opening price point line with most products priced under $1 to help its value-focused customers stretch their dollars.