Smart & Final Expands ‘Plus’ Concept in Venice and West L.A.; Larger Stores Provide More Categories and Convenience for Foodservice Operators and Others

Smart & Final Expands ‘Plus’ Concept in Venice and West L.A.; Larger Stores Provide More Categories and Convenience for Foodservice Operators and Others

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 20, 1998–Smart & Final (NYSE:SMF), the Los Angeles-based warehouse grocery chain, debuts its newest store concept on the Westside this month with the opening of two Smart & Final “Plus” stores in Venice and West Los Angeles, Calif.

After 12 successful years at its current location of 604 East Lincoln Blvd., two blocks south of Rose, the Venice Smart & Final store has recently been converted to a “Plus” store format, expanding the store’s selling space by more than 50 percent.

A new 20,000 square foot West Los Angeles Smart & Final “Plus” store, located at 11221 Pico Blvd. and the 405 Freeway (at the former Adrays site), is scheduled to open Saturday, Nov. 21.

“To our core foodservice customer, ‘Plus’ stores offer one-stop shopping with a broader assortment of products and services, and a greater focus on fresh items,” said Phillip Hawkins, president and chief operating officer of Smart & Final.

“We have a strong commitment to expanding our stores on the west side of Los Angeles, which are especially tailored to meet the needs of businesses in the area including independent foodservice operators, restaurants, general businesses, clubs and organizations, as well as value-oriented consumers.”

Key enhancements of the “Plus” stores include greatly expanded produce, fresh sub-primal cuts of meat, on-site bakery with made-to-order cake capabilities and gourmet cheeses. The beverage category now includes imported beer and premium wines and spirits, with a 15% discount on 12 or more 750 ml. bottles.

The “World of Foods” section includes Latin, Italian, Asian and Gourmet specialty foods. In addition, an expanded restaurant and foodservice equipment section will appeal to both professional and amateur chefs.

Both stores feature a designated Special Orders desk, which uses technology to connect shoppers to 10,000 additional items available from Smart & Final’s foodservice distribution warehouse and hundreds of suppliers. These locations will be the eighth and ninth “Plus” stores, and the company plans to open one more “Plus” location in Long Beach, Calif., by year’s end.

The Venice store is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Venice store manager Justin Sadler, a Westchester resident, is a six-year Smart & Final veteran. Venice assistant managers Santiago Robles and Martin Corralez, a resident of Marina del Rey, will help run the store in addition to visiting current and potential customers in their place of business to better meet their foodservice needs. The phone number of the Venice “Plus” store is 310/392-4954.

The Pico store will open Saturday, Nov. 21 with hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Pico store manager Dennis Gross, a Playa del Rey resident, is a seven-year veteran at Smart & Final and a former manager of the Venice store. Pico assistant manager David Dutton is a three-year company veteran. The phone number of the Pico store is 310/473-7048.

Other nearby Smart & Final Stores are located at 12210 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica and 10113 Venice Blvd. in West Los Angeles.

Membership is not required to shop at any of Smart & Final’s more than 170 stores, which offer customers low warehouse prices on more than 10,000 grocery items, paper supplies and janitorial goods in large sizes and quantities. Smart & Final delivers customer satisfaction and value through low prices, consistent product selection, convenient store locations and personalized services. Customers can pay by cash, check, credit and bank ATM cards.

With headquarters in Los Angeles, the company operates Smart & Final nonmembership warehouse grocery stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Northern Mexico. The company also operates a chain of warehouse grocery stores in the Pacific Northwest under the name United Grocers Cash & Carry, and two foodservice distribution businesses in Northern California and Florida.

The company’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol SMF. Annual sales for the fiscal year ended 1997 totaled $1.45 billion. For more information, visit Smart & Final’s Web site at www.smartandfinal.com.

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