Contact: Marie McGeehan at Casey Communications, Inc., 314/962-0944 or Dee Wetzel at Schnuck Markets, 314/994-4608.
November 30, 1999
Schnucks Stores Are Ready for Y2k: Customers Will Find Business As Usual
ST. LOUIS - When Jan. 1, 2000 rolls around, it will be business as usual for Schnuck Markets Inc. and Schnucks customers. Schnucks' 92 stores in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, Schnucks' dairy and bakery plants, warehouses and transportation facilities, and its headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., are ready for Y2k and will be able to meet customers' needs beginning the first of the year.
Y2k refers to the potential for computer problems stemming from the calendar changeover on Jan. 1, 2000.
"Customers can rest assured it will be business as usual when the millennium arrives," said Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer. "After years of intense preparation, we are confident we are ready for the new millennium."
Schnucks began working on an internal solution to the millennium bug back in October 1995. By March 1996, teams had been assembled to upgrade computer systems in all facets of Schnucks operations. Every computer at Schnucks, from the corporate mainframe to the warehouse to the personal computers at each checkout lane have been replaced over the last three years - more than 3,000 computers.
All computer systems have been tested in the "time machine" lab at Schnucks headquarters. The lab computers were set ahead to the year 2000 to test all software for Y2k compliance including pharmacy systems for script processing and banking systems for credit, debit, check cashing and electronic funds transfer.
Schnucks' buying system was a top priority to insure that products will be on store shelves to meet customer demands.
Schnucks also has conducted extensive testing with suppliers to ensure suppliers had upgraded their computer systems to work properly with Y2k standards. Those tests were successful. Schnucks buyers have arranged with suppliers to have extra product in warehouses and stores to meet additional customer demand. Because Schnucks has its own bakery, dairy, pharmacy warehouse and transportation fleet, stores can be re-supplied with fresh product within hours.
Equipped with diesel generators, Schnucks headquarters and all stores are prepared to handle power outages.
Schnucks associates have appeared at informational and town meetings throughout the communities Schnucks serves to help communicate the extensive Y2k preparation. According to Bob Drury, vice president of management information systems, who has coordinated Schnucks Y2k compliance efforts, "All of the big challenges are behind us."
What should customers do to prepare? Not much.
"We will have product on our shelves, we will cash customers' checks and customers' bank cards will work," said Schnuck. "We advise customers to prepare for Y2k as they would for any mild winter storm. The Red Cross suggests it is always prudent during the winter to have a few extra days of staples and personal items on hand in case customers can't get to the store. We support that.
"If customers wish to stock up, we suggest shopping early in December to avoid any possible inconvenience from waiting in line during the last few days before New Year's Eve. Beyond that, simply relax and enjoy the holidays!"
Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 92 stores in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The family-owned company was founded in St. Louis in 1939.
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