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    Schnucks to Acquire 7 Hilander Stores From Kroger

    Agreement also includes one fuel center

    Schnuck Markets Inc. will acquire seven Hilander stores and one fuel center in Rockford, Ill., from The Kroger Co.’s Indianapolis-based Central division.

    “We are excited for the opportunity to serve more Rockford-area customers,” said Scott Schnuck, chairman and CEO of the eponymous St. Louis-based regional grocer. “Convenience is one of the primary factors customers use to determine where they shop for groceries. These additional outlets will enhance operating efficiencies across the region and improve our ability to compete with a growing number of traditional and nontraditional retail outlets, helping to ensure we remain a strong contributor in the Rockford community.”

    Schnucks will interview all Hilander associates in good standing and expects to retain most of them. Under the current plan, Hilander stores will close for inventory at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25. Schnucks will reopen the Hilander Roscoe, Cherry Valley, Mulford and 11th Street locations at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The Hilander Main, Rural and Alpine stores will reopen at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29.

    There will be no immediate name change. Hilander stores will continue to operate under their current banner. “We don’t intend to make any major changes right away,” said Schnuck. “Although we have been operating successfully in the market for 13 years, our focus now is on combining the experience of both workforces and enhancing our understanding of what today’s Rockford customers really want and need from their neighborhood market.”

    The Hilander stores range in size from 30,000 to 81,000 square feet and employ a total of around 715 associates. Schnucks will also acquire pharmacy records from the four in-store pharmacies, which means there will be no interruption of services for pharmacy customers.

    Schnucks entered the Rockford area in 1998 with the purchase of three Logli supermarkets, and added the Rockford Plaza Charles Street location in 2000. The four stores currently employ 675 teammates.

    Following the Hilander acquisition, Schnucks will operate 100 stores and 95 in-store pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.

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