Contact: Lori Willis
Director of Communications
Oct. 7, 2004
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- The close of the East St. Louis Schnuck store, originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 9, has been postponed until 6 p.m. Sat. October 23. Today, Schnucks corporate leaders agreed to reopen discussions with state and local officials proposing new ideas for additional avenues of support.
Craig Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer for Schnucks, said, "In the past few days, we have had several key community leaders, including State Representative Wyvetter Younge and East St. Louis Mayor Carl Officer, indicate that more time was needed to study potential solutions." He added, "Although it will be very difficult to get the level of assistance needed to continue operating, it is important to our customers and our associates that we explore every possible option."
Store managers, who had been selling down product in preparation for the store close, are now in the process of ordering new product and restocking the shelves. Store Manager Ken Hall said, "We had already begun the closing process, and to reverse it at this point poses some unique challenges for our store team. But we're putting in a lot of extra effort, and we intend to have the store restocked with essentials by Friday." Hall added, "As long as we are open, customers will receive the same high levels of quality and service they have come to expect from Schnucks."
As long as discussions are ongoing, Schnucks leaders have decided not to make details public. "Out of concern for our associates, who have already received new store assignments, we don't want to muddy the waters with a lot of speculation. What's essential now is that we listen and remain open to all the ideas that are out there."
Schnuck said that while he is hopeful, there is still a lot of ground to cover and only two weeks in which to do it. He said, "We recognize that to keep this store open would require an unprecedented act of teamwork, but that's exactly what we've seen in East St. Louis in recent days. However, a long-term solution would require support from all stakeholders including state and local government, the labor union and the community. It's a long shot but certainly worth a try."
The transfer of pharmacy prescriptions to the Fairview Heights Schnucks Pharmacy has also been postponed until Oct. 23. In the meantime, pharmacy customers can call 618-624-4313 with any questions.
Family-owned Schnuck Markets, Inc. was founded in 1939 and currently operates 101 stores (including five Logli stores) and 94 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi.
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