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Al Pineda

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

In the 1980's Sav-on bought the Payless Drug stores in California and I was sent to Sav-on Drugs #3269 in Montebello, California. My objective was to make this store look like and merchandise it like all the other Sav-on Drug stores. This store was huge and had a lot of sales space so I started to merchandise the store with a great crew we had there.

Six to eight months later, I received a call from the general office that they were going to ship ten to fifteen truckloads of fixtures to store in my huge warehouse.These were fixtures that came from a grocery store they had closed up north. I started to look at all the great stuff that I had just received, new fixtures that would be great to replace my ugly worn out wood fixtures in my store, so I decided to call Sam Skaggs's office and I asked them if I could use some of the fixtures and they said they would call back in a couple of days. (Sam Skaggs was Chairman and CEO of American Stores Company, Sav-on’s parent company)

The next day I got a call from Mr. Skaggs himself and he said that he had no use for them at that time so "take what you need" so I did! We started to throw away all the wood fixtures and started to put up the nice new metal ones and they looked GREAT! Well in the middle of the "remodel" we saw a gentleman looking at what we were doing and asked what was up and so we told him we were updating the store and making it more modern. That man worked for Drug Store News the industry newspaper and he published an article that was three pages long with a picture of what the new Sav-on drug store prototype looked like. I but did not know this until I had already completed about 75% of the store. That is when I got a call from our main office asking about the article and stating that "they did not know of any remodel that had been approved." The next day six to eight men in suits showed up at the front door and asked what the hell we were doing. They said "Where are the blueprints and the permits for this remodel? Where are the plans and who said it was okay to do this in the first place?”

My district manager said it was authorized by Mr. Skaggs so they called and found out that he had told us to use whatever we needed and all we were doing was replacing fixtures and they should give us some help to complete what was already done. So we got some help and we remodeled the whole store with no expense to the company.

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