Contact: Lori O. Willis
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Schnucks Will Close Its DeSoto, Mo. Store
ST. LOUIS - Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer of Schnuck Markets, Inc., today announced that the Schnucks store located at 20 Jefferson Square in DeSoto, Mo. will close Saturday, Feb. 26, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. All of the store's 36 associates will be offered the opportunity to transfer.
Schnucks acquired the former National supermarket in 1995, as part of an agreement with Loblaw Companies Limited. The store was last remodeled in 1997, and in May 2003, it received additional renovations after a tornado swept off its roof.
According to Schnuck, the DeSoto store has always been a challenging operation because of its size. "At only 25,000 square feet, it's less than half the size of our traditional format. There just wasn't enough space for a pharmacy or many of the other products and features that have been popular in other Schnucks stores," he said.
However, the greatest contributing factor, Schnuck said, is the Wal-Mart Supercenter that opened less than one mile away in October of last year. A replacement for a smaller Wal-Mart, this new Supercenter includes an expanse of grocery that is nearly double the Schnucks selling space.
"Offering pay and benefit levels substantially below what we pay union associates, Wal-Mart is in a much better position to attract and retain area consumers," said Schnuck. "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 or to return the store to profitability."
Although the company will offer transfers to all associates, Schnuck fears alternate sites may prove too far for some to travel. Schnuck said, "Every store closing is difficult, but this one is particularly so as it may result in the loss of union jobs. We will be able to transfer some associates to our Festus location (approximately 17 miles away), but unfortunately there won't be positions for everyone." Schnuck insists, "We will do everything we can to make this transition a smooth one for both our customers and our associates."
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 102 stores (including five Logli stores) and 96 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi.
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