Retailers

Schnucks Readies New Small-Format Store; Preps to Shutter 2 Units

Retailer’s CEO is ‘optimistic about what’s on the horizon’

Construction has begun on Schnuck Markets’ 37,000-square-foot store in Warrenton, Mo., which is expected to make its debut in late fall at Highway 47 and Veterans Parkway.

The announcement of the company’s first store in Warrenton comes alongside its move to close two underperforming stores in Rockford, Ill., one located on Mulford Road and the other on N. Rockton Avenue, on July 8.

Commenting on its first store in Warrenton, Schnucks Chairman and CEO Todd Schnuck said the small-format store will enable customers to quickly and conveniently navigate the fresh-focused, competitively priced store, which will feature an extensive selection of bakery, produce, seafood and meat offerings, including meat cut in-store. 

“The loyalty of Warren County residents who shop at our other metro Schnucks stores made this an easy decision for us,” Schnuck said in a statement. “Warrenton residents have long asked for a Schnucks in their community and we’re excited to be able to answer their call.”

Schnuck said the 100-store, St. Louis-based retailer “is optimistic about what’s on the horizon for our business and what we will be able to offer our customers. We have some exciting things planned for the months ahead and we’re looking forward to sharing them.”

Schnucks Warrenton will anchor Bent Oak Plaza and “will offer customers the convenience of getting in and out of the store quickly, without compromising on our goal of being ‘best in fresh,’” Schnuck said. The plaza’s name is an homage to the sole tree located on the property—a bent oak tree that is likely a Native American trail marker from hundreds of years ago. Though it is in poor condition, Schnucks said it is working with an arborist to save the historic tree.

As for the closures of the two Rockford stores, Schnucks will offer all 172 associates (97 at Rockton and 75 at Mulford) positions at the same rate of pay at its other six Rockford-area stores. The company said low sales and the costly operation of the two older facilities factored heavily into the company’s decision to close them.

“Despite our efforts, we simply saw no path to profitability for these two stores,” Schnucks COO Dave Peacock said in a statement. “This was a difficult decision, but one that was necessary in order for us to continue to operate a strong company for our more than 13,000 teammates.

“Transferring our teammates to neighboring stores will mean a higher level of service for our customers, and a sharper focus on those stores by our company,” said Peacock, which will “allow us to remain competitive in the Rockford market.”

Schnucks acquired the 65,000-square-foot Rockton location in a 1998 acquisition of Logli. The store originally opened in 1958. The 72,000-square-foot Mulford location was acquired in a 2011 Hilander acquisition and originally opened in 1982.

Pharmacy prescription records from the Mulford store will transfer to a neighboring Schnucks store on E. State Street, while those at Rockton will transfer to a nearby Walgreens.

The privately held Schnucks operates 100 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, and employs more than 13,000 staff members. 

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