Contact: Lori O. Willis
Director of Communications
June 1, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Today, leaders of St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets, Inc. announced plans to invest nearly $1 million to remodel the Schnucks grocery store at 1761 Union Avenue. Upon obtaining approvals, the highly anticipated effort will begin this summer and conclude in the fall.
Immediately after acquiring 12 Seessel's Supermarkets in 2002, Schnucks began renovating and upgrading all of the stores. Company leaders say the original plan was to enlarge the Union Avenue location as part of a remodel, but encountered difficulties in acquiring the needed space.
Schnucks Chairman and CEO Craig Schnuck said while he is hopeful that the store can be enlarged down the road, he believes it is important to proceed with an interior remodel that will include the replacement of the ceiling and interior finish upgrades. "Since entering the market, we have been working diligently to find options that would enable us to add space and increase services to Midtown customers," said Schnuck. "However the existing lease and the involvement of multiple properties and owners adjacent to the building create practical as well as costly obstacles to expansion."
"Our efforts to expand or replace the store will continue," said Schnuck. "But immediate improvements are necessary in order to deliver the best possible service to our customers. The bulk of the investment will be in refrigeration cases and fixtures most of which could be utilized in any future expansion."
The Union store was built in 1941 and over the years, customer needs have changed. Responsive grocers, like Schnucks, want to change with them. That means adding a variety of products and value-added services to enhance the shopping experience. However, in this case, there is no room to grow. "Sizeable parcels of land in Midtown are very limited," said Schnuck.
At only 26,000 square feet, Union is the smallest store in the Schnucks 103-store chain. Schnuck said the store must be expanded in order to keep pace with the grocery and convenience needs of a vibrant Midtown and growing Downtown community that continues to attract professional singles and families.
As part of the remodel, facilities engineers at Schnucks plan to:
Schnuck said the planned changes would allow for expansion of the store's perishable selection especially in produce where customers will find an increased variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Schnuck Markets continues to invest heavily in the Mid-South. Within a five-month period in 2004, the Collierville (July) Stonebridge (October) and Germantown (December) stores opened to large and growing fan bases of Schnucks customers.
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 103 stores (including five Logli stores) and 98 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi. The family-owned company ranks 94th in the Forbes magazine listing of the nation's "Largest Private Companies."
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