Contact: Lori O. Willis
Director of Communications
May 29, 2002
ST. LOUIS -- Schnuck Markets, Inc. announced today that Art Seessel, a former owner of Seessel's Supermarkets, has joined the company as an advisor and consultant to the new Mid-South Division of Schnucks.
The Schnucks Mid-South Division is comprised of 12 Seessel's Stores and five combination convenience stores and gas stations in Shelby County, Tenn. and DeSoto County, Miss. Schnucks will acquire the properties from Albertson's, Inc. of Boise, Idaho on June 2.
Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer, says, as a member of Seessel's founding family, Art Seessel will bring an added dimension of service to the Schnucks team. "We are pleased and fortunate to have Art on board," said Craig Schnuck. "His vast knowledge of the region and the stores will help us build our operation and respond to the specific needs of our customers in Tennessee and Mississippi."
At one time, Seeseel's Supermarkets were known for the quality of their fresh baked goods including many unique items. According to Seessel, bakery is, once again, a major initiative in this new operation, and he is currently exploring all the options with Schnucks. "Right now, Schnucks has the formula for successful bakery operations, but that is only part of it. We'll be working on the methodology of putting it all together."
Schnuck says Seessel, who was instrumental in adding bakery and prepared foods to his own stores, will work closely with Schnucks bakery management to develop a strong product offering in the Mid-South. In the future, Schnucks customers will likely see the return of some of the specialty bakery items that Seessel's had offered in the past. In addition to his focus on bakery, Seessel will provide assistance to all merchandising categories and advise on matters of real estate and community affairs.
"The Schnucks and I have always been friends. They run superb stores, and I consider it an honor to be working with them," said Seessel. He added, "I'd like to see them do the same thing in Memphis that they have done in St. Louis. If they bring the same type of community involvement and enthusiasm, service, quality and choice products they currently offer, they will take the town by storm."
Seessel's Supermarkets have been a part of the Mid-Southern landscape for 144 years. The stores were founded in 1858 by Henry Seessel Sr. and were operated by family members until 1987 when Art Seessel and his brother Jerry sold the chain of stores to American Banaco Inc., a French holding company. The Seessel brothers bought the supermarkets back in 1988.
In 1996, the stores were sold to Bruno's Supermarkets Inc., of Birmingham, Ala. Albertson's purchased the stores from Bruno's in 1998. On May 1, 2002, Schnuck Markets, Inc. announced they had reached an agreement to purchase the stores from Albertson's.
The agreement will be finalized on June 2 and the stores will close (including the convenience stores and gas stations) on June 2 at 1 p.m. They will reopen on Wednesday, June 5. The Truse store will open at 8 a.m. and all other stores will open at 9 a.m. Following opening day, stores will return to their normal schedules: Union Avenue will be open 24 hours daily. All other stores will open at 6 a.m. and close at midnight.
Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 91 stores and 82 in-store pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. This includes five stores that operate as Logli Supermarkets and a stand-alone Sentry drug store. With the Seessel's acquisition, Schnuck Markets will operate 103 stores and 91 pharmacies in six states. A new Schnucks in Jefferson City, Mo., the state's capital, is scheduled to open in late summer. Schnuck Markets, Inc. is currently ranked 83rd on Family Business Magazine's list of 150 largest family companies.
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