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Schnucks To Build New Eureka, Mo. Replacement Store; Names Flacke, Gauss To New Posts

ST. LOUIS - Schnuck Markets, Inc. will build a replacement store for its Eureka, Mo. location. Company officials say construction of the new store, to be located at the intersection of Interstate 44 and Highway 109, just one mile from the present site, will begin once the developer and city officials finalize plans.

Craig Schnuck, chairman and c.e.o. of the 101-store chain that includes five Logli stores and 94 pharmacies located throughout Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennesse, and Mississippi, said the project would be put on the fast track for a second quarter 2005 opening.

"Eureka customers have been very loyal to Schnucks over the years, and we are excited about the opportunity to enhance the services we currently provide," Schnuck said in a statement.

The replacement store will be a 63,000-square-foot, full-service food and drug combo store that will anchor a Holloway LLC development project headed by local real estate broker Dan Hayes.

At approximately 30,000 square feet, the store being replaced, a former National store (originally built by Kroger in 1981), is roughly half the size of newer Schnucks stores. All associates will be transferred, and the larger facility also will enable the chain to hire additional staff, Schnuck noted.

Schnuck said the additional space "will mean that our new Eureka store will include all of the amenities available in most Schnucks stores, including a pharmacy, floral department, service meat, seafood and deli, an expansive produce department, and hot and cold food and salad bar. The surrounding development will include enough additional space to provide for all the convenience needs of our customers."

Schnuck also said the new location provides better access to a greater number of area residents. "Easy access to the interstate should be more convenient for customers living further west on I-44," he noted.

Schnuck believes the new store also will be able to give Wal-Mart a run for its money. "We feel we have established a strong presence in Eureka, and thanks to our loyal customers and a strong store team, our new store will be in a position to aggressively compete," he said.

In other Schnucks news, Robert J. Flacke, formerly director of labor relations for the family-held retailer, was promoted to v.p. of labor relations. Supervising a team of four labor relations professionals, Flacke coordinates labor initiatives for Schnucks management personnel responsible for more than 16,000 Schnucks and Logli associates in six states. In his new position, he negotiates with the leaderships of 18 different unions and 33 collective bargaining agreements representing more than 11,000 associates.

In addition to his current duties at Schnucks, Flacke serves as chief negotiator for The Greater St. Louis Food Employers Council, which is comprised of the area's three largest unionized grocers -- Schnucks, Dierberg's, and Shop 'n Save.

At Schnucks' Memphis, Tenn.-based Mid-South division, Temeka Gauss, 27, was recently promoted to human resource specialist. Gauss has been relocated to Memphis from St. Louis, to manage the hiring initiatives in the company's newest and fastest growing division.

In preparation for the grand opening of the Collierville Schnucks, Gauss hired nearly 130 people from a pool of more than 900. The new store opened on July 14, bringing the company's Mid-South store count to 12 stores and five convenience/fuel centers in Tennessee and Mississippi.

"I particularly enjoy the everyday contact with people that this industry affords," said Gauss, adding: "The grocery store is a necessity for everyone. It's important that the people we hire help create an atmosphere that is open and warm and makes customers feel welcome."

Over the coming months, Gauss will work with store and department managers in the Mid-South to keep stores fully staffed and to bring all the new stores in line.
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