- Schnucks is closing three St. Louis Metro-area stores due to poor sales, according to a press release sent to Grocery Dive.
- The store closing in St. Peters is within roughly three miles of two other Schnucks stores while the O’Fallon, Missouri, and Edwardsville, Illinois stores are located less than one mile from other Schnucks stores.
- The 190 employees at the closing locations will be offered transfers to other Schnucks store locations in the area at the same pay rate. Pharmacies at the three closing locations will transfer prescriptions to other Schnucks Pharmacies.
Of the 19 Shop 'n Save stores Schnucks picked up last year from Supervalu (now owned by United Natural Foods, Inc.), just 13 remain open. In May, Schnucks closed two St. Louis-area stores it picked up in the deal — in Festus and St. Ann — and in August shuttered a location in East Alton, Illinois, just north of the city.
All locations were closed due to poor sales, according to the company.
“Our customers have overwhelmingly chosen to visit neighboring Schnucks stores much more
frequently than these locations, and as difficult as it is to have to close a store, we simply cannot
operate locations that are not profitable,” Schnucks chairman & CEO Todd Schnuck said in a statement.
Although Schnucks has said it planned all along to let customers decide which of the new locations remained open, the rash of closures indicate the Shop 'n Save deal isn't panning out. The grocer passed on 17 other St. Louis area Shop 'n Save locations at the time as it carefully made selections intended to boost its standing in the metro market.
Schnucks was the market share leader in St. Louis prior to its 19-store acquisition, according to data published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But the region has become increasingly competitive over the years, with Walmart and Aldi slashing prices and drawing new customers.
As it rationalizes its store count, Schnucks has also made several moves to enhance its in-store operations. Earlier this year, it expanded its Schnucks Rewards program, launched a Deli Order Ahead service at 18 of its store locations and even added beer, wine, and spirits to its Instacart menu. Last year, the retailer piloted robots in its stores to help with operations, opened a 37,000-square foot, small-format facility in Warrenton, Missouri, and still maintains a Culinaria food store in downtown St. Louis that opened in 2009.