MODESTO (CBS/AP) — Robert Piccinini, the chairman of regional grocer Save Mart Supermarkets, has died in Modesto.

A company statement says the Piccinini family announced his death Wednesday. He was 73.

The company says Piccinini, who stepped down as chief executive officer in September, oversaw the transformation of Save Mart from a Central Valley chain into a regional competitor with $4.5 billion in estimated sales.

According to Forbes, Piccinini’s father and uncle founded Save Mart in 1952. The company bought struggling Albertson’s in 2006. Save Mart is the largest family-owned grocery chain in California

The company operates 226 Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky and FoodMaxx stores in the Central Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and in northern Nevada. It also has distribution and transport operations.

Piccinini was known to love cars, cards and sports, and owned stakes in several California minor and major league baseball teams. He was also a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors.


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