Smart & Final owned the Henry’s Farmers Market stores for just a little more than three years before selling them to Sprouts in early 2011. But the Henry’s team left a DNA imprint on the parent chain that is evident at a new store in Carmichael and two others that will open in Rancho Cordova and south Sacramento later this year.
Randall Oliver, a spokesman for Smart & Final, said the company is opening several Smart & Final Extra stores in the Sacramento region this year. The first one, at 7223 Fair Oaks Blvd., opened July 17. A second will open at 2344 Sunrise Blvd. in Rancho Cordova on Sept. 25. The chain will open its last store for this year in December at 7205 Freeport Blvd. in south Sacramento.
The concept behind Smart & Final Extra stores began evolving as retail shoppers increasingly joined business customers in shopping at the chain, Oliver said, but the acquisition of Henry’s cemented the changes. Slowly, the chain began adding perishables and individual-size portions to its mix of bulk goods.
“We introduced the Extra concept because we were increasingly finding household folks were shopping at the Smart & Final stores, but they weren’t completely happy ... because they couldn’t do a complete shopping trip,” Oliver said. “A lot of the perishable items, a lot of the things you would buy on a more frequent basis, they weren’t getting.”
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When Smart & Final acquired Henry’s, he said, they gained a company very focused on perishables, including a warehouse system.
“We also acquired a lot of expertise in the perishables area, so we began...to take a lot of elements related primarily to produce but also to fresh meat and other things and use those in our Smart & Final stores,” Oliver said.
Smart & Final, based in Commerce, has roughly 210 stores in six states and Baja California, and roughly 85 operate with the Extra concept. Those stores have more perishables, including grains that can be bought from bulk bins. Smart & Final also owns 52 Cash & Carry stores, which despite their name, also accept credit cards. Those stores are primarily focused on business customers.