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A Schnucks store in suburban St. Louis, Missouri.

Schnucks (originally "Schnuck's") is one of the largest privately held grocery store chains in midwestern United States. Now based in suburban St. Louis, the company was started in 1939 with the opening of a 1,000-square-foot (93 m2) store in north St. Louis city and now operates 106 stores [1] in seven states throughout the mid-south and midwest.

Contents

History

Edwin and Anna Schnuck and sons Donald and Edward Schnuck founded Schnuck Markets, Inc., in St. Louis in 1939. In 1946, the first large scale retail store was opened, measuring 2,700 square feet (250 m2). By 1952, the first major store was opened in Brentwood, a St. Louis suburb. The Schnucks symbol of a soldier was introduced in an advertising campaign in 1968 (during the Vietnam War). Schnucks continued to grow and acquire stores throughout Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Schnucks underwent a major expansion in 1995 when it purchased from Loblaws the National Supermarkets chain, also based in St. Louis. (A previous merger in 1970 had seen Schnucks acquire the Bettendorf-Rapp chain of grocery stores—temporarily forming the "Schnucks-Bettendorf's" chain until the latter half of the combined name was dropped a couple of years later—just as Bettendorf's had swallowed up the Rapp chain of stores to form "Bettendorf-Rapp's" in the 1960s.)

Part of the Schnucks growth in the St. Louis grocery market also has to do with the abandonment of the St. Louis area by the A&P chain, also in the '70s, and the Kroger chain in 1986.

Expansion

Schnucks continues to rapidly expand. In 2002, Schnucks agreed to buy 12 Seessel's stores in the Memphis metropolitan area from Albertson's. Six of the Seessel's supermarkets are less than three years old, and 10 have in-store pharmacies. Six of the stores also include gas stations, a new business venture for Schnuck's. Schnuck's first looked at Seessel's in 1992, but no deal was made until ten years later. Today, Schnucks operates 13 stores in the greater Memphis, Tennessee area (which includes the southern suburbs in Mississippi). In 2008 Schnucks acquired grocery store Hart Food and Drug in O'Fallon, Illinois, making it the fifth Schnucks within St. Clair county. In August 2009, Schnucks opened a new store in downtown St. Louis. This store, located in the heart of the downtown business district, is called "Culinaria – A Schnucks Market" and is being marketed as a "new urban prototype."[1] The store became an immediate overwhelming success. [2] The store includes 20,800-square-foot of shopping area, an additional 6,306-square-foot mezzanine with a wine department, tapas / wine bar and seating, a full service Pharmacy, Meat and Seafood Departments, Sushi Bar, floral department, bakery and Kaldi's Coffee bar. The placement of the store reflects the downtown area's urban renewal of the past decade, including a large number of loft-style condominiums and apartments. (See also Washington Avenue Loft District, St. Louis and Downtown St. Louis.)

Leadership

In 2006, Craig Schnuck announced he would become chairman of the executive committee while his brother Scott Schnuck assumed the role as chairman and CEO. Todd Schnuck is the current president and COO. Craig Schnuck, former CEO, is still active in day-to-day decisions now as chairman of the executive committee. The company continues to be family owned, with the fourth generation now working for the company.

In 2007, the company decided to better challenge Wal-Mart and begin a new campaign called Recipe for Success. Also they started a new program where they would lower 10,000 prices across all markets to be more competitive with Wal-Mart. Scott, Todd and Craig Schnuck led this new plan.(1) They also led a charge to make all the employees knowledgeable on the topic of the food they sell.

On Oct. 13th, 2008 Schnucks, "announced the purchase of two Illinois grocery stores and the acquisition of a lease on a third store, all formerly owned and operated by the Sher family, also of St. Louis."[1]

David Bell was recently promoted to CFO of Schnucks Markets.

Pharmacy

The first Schnucks Pharmacy was opened in March 1970. Now there are 103 pharmacies across the states of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Iowa, and Mississippi.[2] The pharmacy staff at Schnucks emphasizes interaction with customers and prescription counseling. The quality of the healthcare provided by Schnucks Pharmacy was recognized formally when it was named "Pharmacy Chain of the Year 2008" by Drug Topics Newsmagazine.[3] Schnucks offers over 50 generic prescriptions that can filled for $4 for a 30 day supply and $10 for a 90 day supply.[4] The pharmacy also fills prescriptions for seven different generic antibiotics at no charge up to a 21 day supply.[5] In addition to low cost prescriptions, they also offer a crutch loan program where customers can pick up a pair of crutches for a small deposit that will be refunded when the crutches are returned.[2]

Schnuck has supported a variety of different causes, such as the United Way, The Salvation Army Tree of Lights, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, St. Louis Variety - The Children's Charity and Operation Food Search.

Uniform

The Schnucks employees' uniform includes faded blue denim collared shirts with an embroidered Schnucks soldier. The uniform also requires employees to wear khaki pants. Store management typically wears green, white, navy blue, or sometimes beige shirts.

References

External links

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