Retailers

Labor Crunch, Changed Shopping Patterns Prompt Hours Change for Schnucks

St. Louis-based grocer will close most stores an hour earlier, at 9 p.m.
Schnucks store exterior
Photograph courtesy of Schnucks

Closing time will come one hour earlier at most Schnucks stores starting Oct. 4.

The family-owned, St. Louis-based grocer said most of its stores—located in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin—will close at 9 p.m. rather than 10 p.m. beginning next month in response to a "challenging labor market" and changing consumer shopping habits. Nine Schnucks locations in the St. Louis area will continue to stay open until 10 p.m., and a handful of other Schnuck Markets stores, including the EatWell location in Columbia, Mo., and the recently opened Schnucks Fresh in Jasper, Ind., will retain their regular operating hours. 

See also: Labor Woes Threaten Product Availability, CPG Group Warns

In a news release Monday, Schnucks said that stores' deli, meat and seafood counters will shorten their operating hours, too, to 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Schnucks noted its operating-hours change as part of an announcement highlighting that eligible store and facility employees will receive a one-time performance and retention bonus of up to $600, based on hours worked, in January 2022. The bonus will be the fourth issued since spring 2020, Schnucks stated. 

Earlier this month, FMI – the Food Industry Association reported in its annual SPEAKS food-retailer survey that 80% of respondents this year said they had been challenged in attracting and retaining workers and that those labor difficulties had had a negative impact on their business. Turnover for part-time food-retail employees soared to 74% in 2020 from 52% in 2019, FMI found, with 77% of grocers and other retailers boosting part-time wages and 29% offering bonuses to part-time workers in response. 

"Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our teammates have remained committed to our customers and our communities," Schnucks EVP of Supermarkets Ted Schnuck said in the company's news release. "As we look ahead to the busy holiday season, we are acknowledging their contributions and are thankful for their continued efforts to help us nourish people's lives."

The company also said its stores will be closed Sunday, Dec. 26 (in addition to Christmas Day) to give employees more holiday time with their families.

On Oct. 7, Schnucks will host a career fair at all 111 of its stores to hire for a variety of mostly part-time positions. No experience is necessary, the company noted. Individuals hired at the career fair who remain employed through Jan. 2 will be eligible for the January performance and retention bonus.  

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