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ST. LOUIS -- Schnucks Markets here will give the traditional prepared foods department in its Arsenal supermarket "the boot," so to speak, with a specialty concept called "A Taste of Italy."
The store, located in The Hill section of St. Louis, will boast a new full-service food area with a large variety of authentic prepared Italian foods as well as recipe ingredients. Tom Collora, the store's manager, said an extensive remodel is now underway and should be completed by April.
"I am really excited about 'A Taste of Italy,' which we hope will become a destination point for many in the neighborhood," Collora said.
In addition to the new food section, the remodeled store will sport a new décor package that will mimic the look of some of the newer Schnucks units in the area, such as Cottleville, Eureka and Bridgeton. It will also incorporate more modern and energy-efficient refrigeration cases, and expanded perishable sections.
"Many of the planned updates have come from suggestions we have taken directly from our customers over the years," said Collora. "By the time our engineering team is finished, it will look like a completely different store."
Collora is among the third generation of his family to live on the Hill. He says that, like his store's signature Italian sandwiches, this remodel is just another example of how Schnucks stores are often customized to fit the needs of a particular community.
"We at Arsenal are known for having developed five Italian-style specialty sandwiches," he said, including the Schnucks King of the Hill, a flavorful combination of Italian bread, meats, and cheeses, which is now offered company wide. Collora added he still insists that his sandwiches be wrapped in paper, to preserve the freshness of the Italian breads.
The "Taste of Italy" project is an example of how Collora and his team work to set the Arsenal Schnucks apart from competitors. The store's ability to serve customers was put to the test recently, when the city closed the Arsenal Bridge, which had served as the main artery for the store's walking customers.
"The loss of the bridge also means that we have lost our main store entrances, but we are still operating on a secondary street," said Collora. Schnucks has found a way to make the best of the situation, he added. "While the new bridge is being built, we are offering our customers in the [surrounding] ZIP codes the opportunity to use our Express Connection Internet Home Shopping service for $5.00, a $7.50 discount off our regular rate for next-day delivery."
That discount will run until the new bridge is opened, which city officials estimate should happen in early October.
Schnuck Markets, Inc. operates 102 stores (including five Logli stores) and 99 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Mississippi and Iowa.