Step into the Save A Lot located at 4703 Conner Ave in Detroit, MI any time of year and Store Manager Zena Ajja hopes you’ll immediately notice a well merchandised store. For Ajja that means the shelves are full, any sales will be prominently communicated, and her team will be ready and willing to help you.

For this grocery veteran, the first impression a customer has of her store is one of the most important. Whether she is merchandising everyday items like baked goods or creating a one-of-a-kind Halloween-inspired display with lights, Ajja believes the reason behind her store’s success is the emphasis she and her team make on merchandising.

“When customers come into the store, they immediately make a decision on what they think about it based on how it looks,” Ajja said. “I most definitely want my store looking its best. That means we do our best to make sure every section of it looks full and organized. Customers can tell the difference and we want to make sure we get every opportunity to impress them and keep them coming back.”

That commitment to excellence has earned her the nickname “The Warrior Princess” because she puts her all into her work. Whether it’s taking care of her customers, her team or going out of her way to turn someone’s day around, Ajja is someone everyone can count on. It’s also why she was recently recognized as a Save A Lot Store Manager of the Year.

“I was humbled to receive Store Manager of the Year,” said Ajja. “It means a lot to have the Rabban brothers [the store’s owners] recognize the work I do. I really do take pride in my work and only hope that the passion I have for this business continues to shine through. I feel so fortunate to have this role and appreciate everyone who helped me get to this point in my career.”

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