Schnucks makes a big move in Mo.

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Schnucks operates 99 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa, employing more than 13,000 associates.

Schnucks is moving to deepen its market penetration thanks to a deal with Supervalu.

Schnucks, a regional grocery chain of the type thought to be an endangered species, just found a way to materially increase its physical presence and improve shopper convenience by growing its store footprint 20%. The grocery chain will buy 19 Shop ‘n Save stores in the St. Louis area from Supervalu Inc. The deal allows Schnucks to expand and compete with larger national players such as Walmart and Kroger, which operate in St. Louis.

“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,” said Todd Schnuck, chairman and CEO of St. Louis-based Schnucks. “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.”

The sale of stores, 14 of which are in Missouri and five in Illinois, will occur with a staggered close process that is anticipated to wrap up by late next month, subject to customary closing conditions. 

Fifteen of the 19 stores to be acquired have pharmacies, which will also be purchased by Schnucks, along with one stand-alone pharmacy in Union, Mo. All of of the pharmacies will remain open under the Schnucks banner. Schnucks will also acquire the prescription files for 10 additional Shop ‘n Save in-store pharmacy locations and transfer those prescriptions to nearby Schnucks stores.

Customers of the closing Shop ‘n Save pharmacies will receive by mail detailed information on the transfer of their pharmacy files within the next few days, with information also available for customers at each pharmacy.

Schnucks plans to close each store for only about two and a half days, during which time it will rebrand signage and fixtures, switch out point-of-sale systems and restock merchandise before reopening the locations as Schnucks stores. 

Schnucks is additionally acquiring four of Shop ‘n Save’s seven fuel centers.

Also as part of the acquisition, Supervalu will serve as the primary supplier for nine of Schnucks’ existing stores in northern Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

“Since announcing plans to pursue the sale of our Shop ‘n Save banner earlier this spring, the team has worked diligently and successfully to put this agreement together,” said Mark Gross, president and CEO of Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu. “This transaction is an important step in the continued transformation of our business. Schnucks is an excellent retailer in the St. Louis area and we’re pleased that these stores will become a part of their operation, including continuing to serve the communities and providing jobs to many of our employees.”

Kirkwood, Mo.-based Shop ‘n Save has about 2,800 employees. 

The acquisition comes soon after Schnucks revealed two other new locations: A Maplewood, Mo., supermarket -- formerly a Shop ’n Save -- opened just last month, while another store, slated to open later this fall, is currently under construction in Warrenton, Mo. 

Supervalu operates a network of 3,606 stores consisting of 3,495 wholesale primary stores operated by customers serviced by the company’s food distribution business and 111 grocery stores under three retail banners in three geographic regions, with about 23,000 employees. 

Schnucks operates 99 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa, employing more than 13,000 associates.