- Schnuck Markets is raising its minimum wage for most associates to $12.10 per hour, effective Oct. 11, the supermarket chain said in an email on Thursday.
- The pay increase applies to current and future workers in Schnucks' stores, bakery plant and floral design center, but not to baggers. Workers in the 111-store chain's deli, meat and seafood departments will earn at least $12.75 per hour once the wage increases go into effect.
- Schnucks is boosting pay as grocers struggle to bring on and keep workers amid a continuing labor shortage that has driven up wages in multiple industries.
The wage increases will set a new floor for the amount Schnucks pays its workers and result in an automatic pay increase for those who are not already getting paid at the new rates. In addition, the grocer said an unspecified number of its unionized employees would see contractually specified pay increases that had been set to take place on Jan. 1 moved up by two months.
Schnucks' decision to provide higher hourly pay to its workforce follows the company's announcement in September that it will distribute a performance and retention bonus of as much as $600 to workers in January. The bonus, which will be based on hours worked, will go to newly hired associates as well as to people already on the company's payroll, Schnucks said.
In a sign of the strain Schnucks is facing as it looks to keep its facilities staffed, the company's stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin began closing an hour early this week. Schnucks has also shortened hours at all of its meat, seafood and deli service counters, attributing the need to make the adjustments to the "challenging labor market as well as evolving customer shopping patterns."
The compensation increases reflect a broad effort by grocers to ensure they have enough workers as they gear up for the holidays. On Thursday, Schnucks held hiring events at all of its locations as part of a push to bulk up its staffing levels.
Meanwhile, Kroger — which says its average hourly wage is over $16 per hour — said earlier this week it is planning to hold virtual and on-site interviews next Wednesday as part of a drive to bring on 20,000 new employees for roles in retail and other parts of the company.
In August, Aldi said it was looking to hire 20,000 workers for its stores and warehouses, noting that its average starting wage ranges from $15 to $19 per hour.
Separately, Schnucks announced on Thursday that it has finished a complete remodeling project at a supermarket it operates in Kirkwood, Missouri. The updated location includes a self-service nut butter section, a larger grab-and-go assortment, and a new food hall featuring three local restaurants. Other additions include a natural living department and a section with streetwear from Arch Apparel of St. Louis.