Schnuck Markets, Inc
Schnucks Names Collora as Manager of the New Downtown Schnucks Store
ST. LOUIS – Downtown workers with a view of the Ninth Street Garage have a great vantage point from which to watch the progress of the downtown Schnucks marketplace. The market, a new urban prototype and a departure from the typical Schnucks format, is on target to open in the spring of 2009.
The company has tapped Tom Collora, former Arsenal Schnucks store manager, to oversee the project. Schnucks Chairman and CEO Scott Schnuck said that Collora was a natural choice for this opportunity. “In the 39 years he has worked for Schnucks, Tom has always been a trail blazer. We can count on Tom for creative ideas and innovative approaches to serving customers, and that’s just exactly what we will need downtown,” Schnuck said.
“In addition to an expanded selection of prepared foods, our downtown customers can expect this market to offer the same Schnucks product value, quality, variety and service,” said Schnuck. “We are particularly excited to bring the only pharmacy to the downtown area.”
Schnuck says there are about 100,000 commuters, tourists and residents within a two-three mile radius of the store on any given weekday – about 500 more than last year’s totals. “However, only about ten percent of that group is downtown over the weekend. We have always known that a traditional grocery business is not going to work in this location. That’s where our experience in the industry comes into play,” said Schnuck.
At approximately 21,000 square feet on the lower level and 6,000 square feet in the mezzanine, this store is about one-third the size of typical Schnucks stores. Collora says the inside framing is completed and the second phase will soon start. “The space was not built with a grocery in mind so we will have to tear out the concrete flooring and lay a foundation suitable to our needs. Electrical wiring will have to be reconstructed to allow for the refrigerated units we are using,” Collora said.
“Because of the investment, there is more of an element of risk involved in this store so it was important to find the right person to manage it,” said Schnuck. “Tom opened the Arsenal store for us in 1985, and over the years, he developed partnerships with specialty grocers and worked to reshape the mix of products and services to fit the needs of its customer base. That’s the kind of ingenuity we want to see at work in this newest location.”
Collora is working hard to ensure that everything, every detail and service of the new store, is ready for the spring opening. “Customers can look forward to a modern, state-of-the-industry food and drug store with all of the offerings unique to Schnucks and many new endeavors we are innovating in hopes of providing an exceptional urban shopping experience. If our customers respond to this store, we might be able to transfer this idea to other markets.”
Since accepting the position, Collora has immersed himself in the neighborhood and has joined three downtown organizations. He says the store will employ about 70 associates depending on the level of business the store can achieve.
The new marketplace will be the ninth Schnucks store to be located in the city of St. Louis. Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 103 stores (including five Logli stores) and 99 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Mississippi and Iowa.
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