About two years after it opened, the Save-A-Lot in Homosassa is no more.
The sign came down Monday.
Owner Roy Seepersaud said he just couldn’t make a go of it.
“We haven’t made any money whatever,” said Seepersaud, who invested $700,000 on top of his original investment to get the 15,500-square-foot store off the ground. “The overhead is really high. We are struggling.”
Seepersaud said he will erect a temporary banner outside the store in front of Homosassa Square at U.S. 19 and Yulee Drive, to assure people it will remain open with existing inventory. He hopes to announce a rebranding as soon as the legalities of quitting the Save-A-Lot contract are concluded.
“We are working toward becoming an independent grocer or possibly an IGA,” he said.
Seepersaud said he wants to become an IGA because it has brand recognition in the Midwest, Northeast and northern states.
“(The store) would be more profitable from a larger supplier like IGA,” he said.
His was the only privately owned Save-A-Lot in Citrus County. The two others — in Crystal River and Inverness — will remain intact.
Seepersaud said he was told by Save-A-Lot that the Homosassa location would be prosperous due to location, right off busy U.S. 19.
It never happened, he said.
Seepersaud blames the road construction for siphoning customers.
“People do not want to turn left into the plaza,” he said.
Seepersaud said he hopes to keep all 12 of his store employees working at whatever brand the building becomes.
“I just want the store to be prosperous and make money,” he said.
The closest IGA is in Inglis, in Levy County, where the Food Ranch Supermarket off U.S. 19 is doing quite well, Seepersaud said.
Save-A-Lot and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet occupy the space that formerly was home to Sweetbay, which closed in 2013.
The Missouri-based Save-A-Lot discount food chain has been struggling nationwide because of huge debt and stiffer competition from rival stores such as Aldi and Walmart.
Chicago-based IGA has been around for 90 years in different communities nationwide.