(Jan. 14, 9:13 a.m.) Thirty-five years after he began his retail career with Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart Supermarkets, Steve Junqueiro has been named president of the firm, Bob Piccinini, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, announced in a news release.

The promotion was effective Jan. 5. Junqueiro succeeds Bob Spangler, who retired in 2008.

“Over the course of the last year, Steve Junqueiro has demonstrated great leadership as we re-launched the Lucky banner and began developing a new Save Mart Supermarkets family,” Piccinini said in the release. “He has helped me and the executive team to build on the company’s strengths and has focused with passion on leadership development, operational efficiency and companywide communication.”

Starting as a produce clerk, Junqueiro has spent his entire retail career with Save Mart Supermarkets, which also owns the S-Mart Foods, Lucky, and FoodMaxx stores in northern California and northern Nevada.

Junqueiro will continue to oversee the company’s administrative, operations, merchandising, marketing, strategic planning and distribution efforts, the release said, and also will retain the title of chief operating officer, a post he assumed last May. Previously, he had been executive vice president.

Save Mart Supermarkets will mark the 57th anniversary of the company’s founding Jan. 17. Save Mart, which owns and operates nearly 250 stores, doubled in size in February 2007 when it purchased 130 Albertson’s markets, nearly half of which have been returned to their original Lucky name.

Save Mart names Steve Junqueiro president