Contact: Lori O. Willis
Director of Communications
Schnucks Will Close Its Highland, Ill. Store
ST. LOUIS - Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer of Schnuck Markets, Inc., today announced that the Schnucks store located at 2675 Northtown Way in Highland, Ill. will close Saturday, Sept. 21, 2002 at 6:00 p.m.
Schnucks acquired the former National supermarket in 1995, as part of an agreement with Loblaw Companies Limited. At the time, the property, owned by Jim Glik of Glik Development Company of Granite City, Ill., was in the middle of a multi-year lease, which Schnucks assumed and extended last September.
Schnuck said, "Because of low volume, we considered closing the store one year ago. Instead, we opted to concentrate on improving sales over the course of an additional 12 months." He added, "Despite the extension and a hard working group of associates, we were unable to return the store to profitability." The current lease will be terminated in October 2002.
According to Schnuck, the Highland store was a challenging operation at the start because of its small size. At only 28,000 square feet, the facility doesn't offer the floor space to allow for the wide variety of products and features that have been popular in other Schnucks stores. "The Highland store did not have space available for a pharmacy, food bar, seafood or nutrition and beverage center which have been customer favorites in other locations," said Schnuck.
A remodel, completed approximately two years ago, updated the decor and some display space. Schnuck says a significant expansion was never a viable investment option considering the size of the community and number of stores competing for business.
Schnuck said, "Most recently, we can trace the store's decline in profitability directly to a Wal-Mart Supercenter that opened less than one mile away." Offering pay and benefits levels substantially below what Schnucks offers, Schnuck said Wal-Mart was in a better position to attract and retain area consumers.
"After careful consideration of the market and the strength of the competition, we have determined that it is impossible for us to recover lost sales volume," said Schnuck.
The closing of the Highland store will result in the reassignment of approximately 50 associates. The company intends to place associates in other stores. Schnuck said, "We will do everything we can to make this transition a smooth one for both our customers and our associates."
Including Highland, Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 103 stores and 93 in-store pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi. This includes five stores that operate as Logli Supermarkets.
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