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Clayton Schnucks to Close Its Doors on May 31
Corner Store Represents a Cornerstone in Company's History
ST. LOUIS - For the past 50 years, the Clayton Schnucks (formerly Bettendorf-Rapp) located at 7651 Clayton Road, has served many long-time residents. But on Saturday, May 31 the 24-hour store will close its doors at 6 p.m., and the company will turn a corner in its hometown history.
A small gathering will be held at the store on Friday, May 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the store's decades of service to the Clayton area. All customers are invited to join Schnucks representatives at this time for complimentary cake and coffee at the store.
According to Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer of Schnuck Markets, Inc., the Clayton store is a small store, but it has remained profitable over the years thanks to loyal customers. "Our first choice would be to remain at the site and continue serving them. However, our 50-year lease with Lipton Realty of St. Louis expires June 30, and an extension would be too costly to consider," Schnuck said.
Scott Schnuck, president and chief operating officer, said knowing there likely would be no additional lease renewals, the company has been able to prepare for the store closing. "In the past ten years we have opened three new stores in the vicinity (Richmond Center in 1995, University City in 1997 and Ladue Crossing in 1993) and renovated others (Brentwood in 1995 and Overland in 2001) so that we might continue serving area customers." He added, "We are hoping that they will follow Schnucks to these stores."
Although still in college at the time, Craig Schnuck worked to support the 1970 Bettendorf-Rapp acquisition, which included the Clayton store. (He officially joined the company nine months later.) "It was an exciting time for all of us who were involved. We added 26 stores and instantly more than doubled our store count and provided additional career advancement opportunities for our associates," he said.
"The Clayton store is representative of the acquisition, which was truly a turning point in our company's history. It enabled Schnucks Market Inc. to serve a greater portion of the of the St. Louis community and secured our place as one of the largest family-owned grocers in the Midwest. The store itself is one of the last of the true corner grocery stores. It's closing will mark the end of an era," Craig Schnuck said.
In the1950's, the store was considered to be a large grocery store. Today, the average Schnucks store is about 57,000 square feet, 25,000 square feet larger than the Clayton location. Schnucks has expanded the store twice to get it to its present size.
The store currently employs about 91 associates, all of whom will be transferred to other locations. In the meantime, they will work to make sure that the transition is a smooth one for all customers.
Store Manager Mark Harris said, "Over the next few weeks, customers will notice signs announcing the close, and managers will immediately begin preparing for the final day of sales on May 31. We are going to do all we can to make this transition as smooth as possible."
Including Clayton, Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 100 stores and 92 in-store pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi. This includes five stores that operate as Logli Supermarkets. The family owned company was founded in St. Louis in 1939.
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