Media Contact: Lori Willis

Director of Communications


314-456-5457 (cell)

Jan. 28, 2008

Washington Schnucks Store Closed By Fire May Open The Week of Feb. 4

WASHINGTON, Mo. - The countdown to reopening has begun as crews work to clean and sanitize the Washington Schnucks store which was closed after an early morning fire Tuesday morning, Jan. 22. If all goes according to plan, following an inspection by the Franklin County Health Department, the store could open the week of February 4.

Over the next several days, approximately 50 crew members from Catco Inc., a local company specializing in catastrophe cleaning and restoration, will work long hours to help expedite the cleaning and sanitizing process.

According to Schnucks Director of Facilities Maintenance John Behr, all is proceeding well. "Our goal is to resume serving customers a soon as possible. However, we have never undertaken a recovery process where so much of the store and its contents have been affected. Right now, a top-to-bottom cleanup is underway and all we have are our best estimates on how long each stage of the cleanup will take."

"We have replaced ceiling tiles and are now cleaning and sanitizing walls, equipment and shelves," said Behr. "Our Food Safety and Quipco Maintenance teams are receiving a lot of help and support from the Franklin County Health Department and we are hopeful that we will be ready for inspection by Monday Feb. 4." At that point, Behr estimates it will take less than 24 hours to restock the store with its typical assortment of approximately 50,000 products.

Over the weekend approximately 50 Schnucks associates helped to remove all products damaged, not by the fire, but by heavy smoke and soot. Approximately 20 or so associates are still working at the Washington store today; others have elected to take accrued vacation time while some have been temporarily reassigned to the Eureka Schnucks, now providing services to the Washington community as well.

"Our company is very experienced in disaster recovery so I have complete confidence in our ability to move quickly on this once we get the `all clear' from health officials," said Behr.

In the meantime, all Washington Schnucks Pharmacy customers are invited to call the Schnucks Pharmacy in Eureka at 636-239-4120. Pharmacists there will ensure that their prescriptions are filled and delivered to their homes. There will be no charge for home delivery while the store is closed.

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