The announcement on Monday that Schnucks Markets will close a North St. Louis store on May 10 has sparked criticism from both city officials and residents.
In a statement the St. Louis-based retailer said that it was not renewing its lease on the building located on North Grand because it “has consistently operated in the red since it was purchased as a part of the 1995 National acquisitions.”
“It’s the fiscally responsible thing to do. We’re responsible for 15,000 employees,” said Lori Willis, spokeswoman for Schnucks Markets. “[We’ve] done everything we could to make it profitable.”
All 65 store employees will be assigned to other Schnucks stores, said Willis.
However, Glenn Jamboretz, spokesman for Marvin Holdings, the owner of the 28,000-square-foot facility, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch its believed the store was profitable. He also said the building’s owner offered to do approximately $100,000 in roof repairs.
Willis said that, while the offer of roof repairs was appreciated, it was “too little, too late” and wouldn’t affect the store’s performance.
In the Post-Dispatch Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr., who represents the area, said the store closing will be “really hurtful to that community,” which has one of the highest margins of food stamps users in St. Louis.
People took to Twitter to express their opinions:
Schnucks just making up reasons to leave the hood...and make it harder to acquire a basic need...food...— Dangerous Stranger (@JD_Gaffle) April 16, 2014
@Train5829 schnucks wanted that location about as much as the eagles wanted desean jackson.— trifeckta (@trifeckta) April 16, 2014
There are two other Schnucks within three miles of the closing store, said Willis. The St. Louis Business Journal said other North St. Louis grocery retailers include Aldi’s, Sav-A-Lot and a food co-op.
In his blog St. Louis mayor Francis G. Slay said the store closing was “not good news” and that anything that reduces convenient access to fresh foods and vegetables makes it more difficult to help people live healthier lives. However, he added: “One fewer Schnucks is a setback, but not a fatal blow.”
After the closing of its North Grand site, Schnucks will operate eight stores in St. Louis city limits.
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