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WATERLOO, Ill. -- Aiming to make sure it doesn't get defeated at Waterloo, Schnuck Markets plans to begin construction early next year on a new Marketplace format store in this rapidly growing community, to replace the company’s existing, older format unit.
St. Louis-based Schnucks acquired the store in question -- which originally opened under the Kroger banner in 1982 -- in conjunction with its 1995 acquisition of National Supermarkets from Toronto-based Loblaw Cos., Ltd. Although Schnucks remodeled the store in 1998, its relatively small, 31,000-sq.-ft. size currently prohibits it from accommodating the product variety and services available in other more modern Schnucks stores, said chain officials.
Pending final approval, the chain plans to build a larger combination food and drug store to anchor a retail development within a quarter mile of the existing store.
Gordon Lyons, Schnucks’ v.p. of supermarket development, said an affiliate of The DESCO Group, Schnucks' developer, now has a contract on a 15-acre parcel of land located on the east side of Illinois Route 3, south of its intersection with Market Street.
"We have been considering replacing the existing store for quite some time, and we believe that this particular parcel of land offers great accessibility for customers from Waterloo and surrounding communities," said Lyons. "Although there are still a number of development issues to be addressed, if all plans proceed according to schedule, the new Schnucks store could open in the fall of 2006."
Mark Schnuck, president of the St. Louis-based DESCO Group--the firm began as the real estate arm of the retailer--says his team will manage the development of the new retail center. "As soon as we get the project off the ground, we will begin soliciting other retailers to fill approximately 20,000- sq.-ft. of space within the center, and additional space is available in several out parcels," Schnuck said. The end result, he added, "will be a beautiful new retail center that will enhance the overall shopping experience by providing consumers with easy access to an expanded selection of goods and services."
According to Lyons, customers will not be inconvenienced in the move. "We will simply close one evening and open the new store two mornings later. All associates will transfer to the new facility."
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. operates 103 stores (including five Logli stores) and 98 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Mississippi and Iowa. The family-owned company ranks 94th on Forbes' list of the nation's largest private companies.
The DESCO Group, founded in 1993, provides corporate real estate services, development, brokerage, property management, and construction management services.