Area grocery stores keep closing
Five Shop ‘n Save locations in Southern Illinois will become Schnucks in October, following their acquisition by the company on Monday.
In a press release, Schnucks said it had bought 14 stores in Missouri and five in Illinois in a definitive agreement. Its plan is to stagger the Shop ‘n Save closings through the month, starting on Oct. 7.
The Southern Illinois stores that will be changing are: 1721 Homer M. Adams Parkway in Alton, 800 Carlyle Ave. in Belleville, 634 Berkshire Blvd. in East Alton, 2122 Troy Rd. in Edwardsville and 1900 East Edwardsville Rd. in Wood River.
Each store will only be closed for two and a half days, and during that time will be rebranded with Schnucks signage and fixtures, switch to new point-of-sale systems and restock merchandise before opening.
Schnucks said in the press release that it will offer jobs to all union teammates of the 19 stores at the same wage rate, working a comparable number of hours and doing comparable work. Eligible employees will also receive healthcare coverage and pension contributions consistent with union agreements.
Fifteen of the 19 acquired Shop ‘n Save stores include pharmacies, which have also been purchased by Schnucks. In the press release, the company said it is also acquiring the prescription files for 10 additional Shop ‘n Save in-store pharmacy locations and transferring those prescriptions to nearby Schnucks stores. Customers of the closing Shop ‘n Save pharmacies will receive detailed information in the mail within the next several days.
The press release said all Shop ‘n Save store directors, assistant store directors, pharmacy managers and pharmacists will also be interviewed by Schnucks over the next week.
“Schnucks is proud to be growing in our hometown of St. Louis, excited about the opportunity to serve new customers and looking forward to welcoming the employees at these 19 stores to Schnucks,” CEO and Chairman Todd Schnuck said in a press release. “We want longtime customers of each store to know that we are eager to earn your business, and we’ll be working closely with Supervalu and Shop ‘n Save to ensure a smooth and successful transition.”
In April, Supervalu, the Minnesota-based company that owns Shop ‘n Save, announced that it would be purchased by Union Natural Foods in a $2.9 billion deal. As part of the deal, Supervalu intended to sell several Shop ‘n Save stores across the country.
Local union presidents vowed to protect jobs for Shop ‘n Save employees after the move, saying it was outrageous that employees didn’t know about the deal until after it was announced in the news.
On Monday, UFCW Local 655 President David Cook, whose chapter represents around 1,500 Shop ‘n Save members in Missouri, praised Schnucks’ announcement.
“I am happy to hear that a good family-owned employer here in St. Louis will be adding to their union family by acquiring many Shop ‘n Save locations. Our union’s number one priority remains maintaining the good benefits and wages of our hardworking partners at Shop ‘n Save. I look forward to working with leaders at Shop ‘n Save and Schnucks to ensure a smooth transition and the best possible deal for the men and women that these businesses are built on.”
Hana Muslic: 618-239-2626, @h_muslic