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May 16, 2002
Schnuck Markets Ends Speculation in "The Name Game"
Seessel's Stores will become Schnucks Stores in June
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Not since singer and songwriter Shirley Ellis released the novelty tune, "The Name Game" in 1965, has there been such fun had with a name! Today, leaders of Schnuck Markets, Inc. of St. Louis announced that a decision has been made and the 12 remaining Seessel's stores in the Memphis area will soon be called "Schnucks."
The people of Mississippi and Tennessee have spoken, and according to Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer of Schnuck Markets, Inc., the company is listening. "There has been an overwhelming encouragement by Seessel's associates and customers alike to change the name of the Seessel's stores and give them all a fresh start," said Schnuck.
Since the May 1 announcement that the family-owned company would buy all 12 Seessel's stores, calls of support and congratulations have been pouring into the St. Louis office. Schnuck says callers have advised that the stores become Schnucks stores. In addition, a poll conducted by the Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn. was 2-1 in favor of a name change.
"The Seessel family ran very good stores," said Schnuck. "There is a lot of sentiment still attached to the Seessel's name, and we are very respectful of that. However, our research indicates that after two changes in ownership in six years, many people feel the qualities that made the Seessel's name strong in the community have been lost. The name seems to be about the only thing that has not changed."
Schnuck added, "We're hearing loudly and clearly the message that customers and Seessel's associates are counting on us to return the focus to quality, variety, value and service -- all of the characteristics that come with the Schnucks name." Schnuck said in addition to the name, the stores will also adopt the slogan and the goal of being, "The Friendliest Stores in Town."
According to Schnuck, family members smiled at the various suggestions for combining the two interesting last names. He recalled a similar reaction after the company's 1970 purchase of Bettendorf-Rapp stores. Schnuck explained, "Back then, we had a little fun with it ourselves and tossed out the name Schnuckendorf! But, I particularly enjoyed a Memphis resident's suggestion of Schneesel's!"
The current plan calls for the stores to close at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 2 for inventory, restocking and special enhancement to the perishables sections and reopen under new management and with a new name on Wednesday, June 5 at 9 a.m.
Since the founding of Schnuck Markets, Inc. in 1939, the company has grown to include 91 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. (The Seessel's acquisition will bring this count to 103 stores.) This includes five stores operated as Logli Supermarkets.* Annual sales exceed $2.1 billion. A new Schnucks in Jefferson City, Mo., the state's capital, is scheduled for late summer.
Schnuck Markets, Inc. is currently ranked 83rd on Family Business Magazine's list of 150 largest family-owned companies.
*At the time of the purchase of three Logli stores in 1998, the company's research in the community indicated that the Logli name was strongly associated with quality grocery retailing. A decision was made to operate the stores under the Logli name as a division of Schnuck Markets, Inc.
Editor's Note: What's in the Name?
Schnuck (no "s") is a family name of German origin and is pronounced "Schnook." Edwin H. (Pop) Schnuck, grandfather to the present generation, was married to Anna Donovan Schnuck (grandmother). Anna is credited with starting the first Schnuck store, a corner confectionary in 1939.
Company policy requests that writers add an "s" when referring to Schnucks stores but never use an apostrophe. The company's formal name is
Schnuck Markets, Inc.