Contact: Lori Willis
Director of Communications
April 1, 2004
ST. LOUIS -- Leaders of Schnuck Markets, Inc. today announced that they will not exercise their option to renew the lease on the Delmar/Kingshighway Store. (Notice to extend was required by April 1). The Schnucks store at 710 N. Kingshighway will close at
6 p.m. on Saturday, April 17. All 80 Delmar Schnucks associates will be transferred to similar positions in other Schnucks stores.
Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "There simply are not enough customers shopping our store to warrant an extension of the lease. Over the past nine years, we've worked hard to build customer traffic in a variety of ways including providing quality and value in products, extensive remodeling, heavy marketing and promotion and community outreach."
Schnuck said, "While customers have responded positively to our efforts, the store continues to register significant losses. Sales are at a bare minimum and will not offset escalating labor, utility and insurance costs."
Currently, Schnucks is one of two major grocers serving St. Louis City (Shop n' Save has three south city stores). Schnuck said, "We operate nine stores (including Delmar) within the city limits, including the 63,000-square-foot City Plaza store constructed in 1997. The University City Schnucks, also a larger and newer store, is within one mile of the St. Louis City boundary. These stores represent a significant investment in our hometown communities."
"It's difficult for the Delmar store to compete with our own larger, newer facilities, and the city's declining population makes it impractical for us to continue operating all nine stores," said Schnuck. "We've given the Delmar store a good run and we thank our customers and community partners, particularly the leaders of the Clergy Coalition, for their support. I am confident that there are better, more effective ways in which Schnucks can continue to support St. Louis' regrowth and redevelopment efforts."
Schnuck said that while the recent work stoppage was not a major factor in this decision, it did not help matters. "The financial losses sustained during the recent Local 655 work stoppage were significant and put a strain on our entire company. Year-to-date sales at this store have yet to return to expected, or pre-strike levels. Because our first concern always is for our customers, we put this particular store closing off longer than was prudent from a business standpoint."
According the Schnuck, increasingly heavy competition, rising labor costs and a sluggish economy have forced the company to make tough decisions. (Last year, the company decided to close its Clayton store due to high lease renewal costs.) Although Schnuck says the company will continue to look for ways to operate more efficiently, no additional store closings have been announced.
In the coming weeks, customers will notice signs alerting them to the store closing. Delmar pharmacy customers can request that their prescriptions be transferred to one of three neighboring Schnucks stores or to a pharmacy of their choice by calling 314-361-1622.
All pharmacy accounts not transferred by April 17 will be forwarded to the Schnucks City Plaza store at 3431 Union Blvd. at Natural Bridge. Customers may also call directly to the neighboring Schnuck Pharmacies at Lindell (314-533-8234) and at Grand at Kossuth (314-531-1415).
As of April 8, the store will no longer offer photo processing or Rug Doctor rentals. Customers who trade with the in-store Bank of America can transfer their accounts to the Bank of America banking center at 4625 Lindell Blvd. at Euclid at their next store visit. For additional information, please call Bank of America at 314-284-0525.
The 41,000-square-foot Delmar/Kingshighway store was acquired in 1995 as part of the National Supermarkets acquisition. The Schnucks stores nearest to the location include a 53,000-square-foot store at 4171 Lindell Blvd. (1.2 miles), a 63,000-square-foot supercenter at 3431 Union Blvd. (1.8 miles) and the 27,000-square-foot store at 4127 North Grand Blvd. (2.7 miles).
Founded in north St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 100 stores (including five Logli stores) and 93 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi. The family-owned company is ranked 80th in the Forbes Magazine listing of the nation's "Largest Private Companies."
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NOTE: In addition to the Delmar/Kingshighway store, Schnucks operates the following stores in St. Louis City: 3431 Union Blvd. (63115); 4127 N. Grand Blvd. (63107); 4171 Lindell Blvd. (63108); 5055 Arsenal Blvd. (63139); 3430 S. Grand Blvd. (63118); 60 Hampton Village (63109); 7450 Hampton Ave. (63109); 950 Loughborough Ave. (63111).