WASHINGTON (FNS) -- Schnuck Markets, St. Louis, last week was ordered to pay a $3 million fine and sell two more stores to settle Federal Trade Commission charges it let 24 stores -- 18 National stores and six Schnuck stores -- run down before divesting them.
Schnuck has already sold the stores. Twenty-three went to Family Co. of America in March 1996 and one to Wild Oats Markets in May 1996.
In a statement, Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive of Schnuck, called the FTC allegations "totally unjustified." He said the company agreed to pay the fine and sell two stores in order to avoid costly litigation. The stores being sold are closed.
William Baer, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said by not maintaining the 24 stores, Schnuck harmed supermarket competition.