Later this year, Schnuck Markets is slated to debut a smaller, fresh food-driven store concept called Schnucks Fresh.
Plans call for the 18,000-square-foot Schnucks Fresh store to open in Jasper, Ind., in the summer, St. Louis-based Schnucks said late yesterday. The format will feature a “heavy focus” on fresh departments such as produce, meat, seafood and bakery and add about 30 jobs to the community.
A leased site, Schnucks Fresh will be located in the former Cash Saver building in the Germantown Shopping Center at the corner of North Newton Street and West 36th Street. Schnucks said the new Jasper store will mark its seventh location in Indiana, where the chain operates six supermarkets in the Evansville area that employ 795 workers.
“We’re excited to expand into the Jasper community and to be able to continue on our company’s mission to ‘Nourish People’s Lives’ in an area new to Schnucks,” Chairman and CEO Todd Schnuck said in a statement. “As a new format for us, Schnucks Fresh will be a store that customers will be able to quickly and easily navigate, where they will find an extensive selection of the same fresh products for which Schnucks is known throughout the Midwest.”
Exploring different store concepts is nothing new for Schnucks, which overall operates 111 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. In June, the company launched a 42,000-square-foot specialty store dubbed “EatWell, A Natural Food Store by Schnucks” in Columbia, Mo. Schnucks had acquired the lease for the site last March in an auction by Lucky’s Market, which was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
“Experimenting and trying new things is really in our DNA,” Schnuck said in a podcast interview with Supermarket News last July, noting that the company has tested various retail concepts for decades, including warehouse stores.
And in November, Schnucks rebannered and upgraded its ground-breaking “Culinaria” store in downtown St. Louis as “Schnucks Downtown.” Launched in August 2009, the Culinaria small urban store concept totaled about 27,000 square feet of retail space on two levels and featured a full grocery shopping experience but with a heavy emphasis on prepared foods, including hot food bars and other grab-and-go offerings. The store also offered Culinaria-brand products plus culinary education elements.
In other news, Schnucks on Friday expanded its sourcing partnership with ECRM’s RangeMe to find local suppliers and bring more of their products into its stores. RangeMe’s online product discovery platform is designed to help streamline sourcing, improve retailer/supplier communication and locate new products that align with customers’ needs and spur their interest.
Schnucks said its merchandising team aims to identify suppliers within 125 miles of a Schnucks store or in one of the four Midwestern states it serves. As shown by Schnucks’ partnerships with St. Louis-area restaurants and supplier diversity program powered by RangeMe technology, the local supplier initiative will promote an inclusive approach by investing in area businesses through the introduction of their products into the Schnucks stores, according to the grocer.
In June, Schnucks also unveiled an effort to buy more than $5 million of local produce and local goods from farmers in the communities it serves through a partnership with blockchain-based logistics and marketing platform Foodshed.io.
“Our emphasis on local products connects us with the many communities throughout the areas we serve and introduces our customers to local treasures that can be found right in their own backyard,” stated Andy DeCou, deli category manager at Schnucks. “Our communities depend on local businesses and they depend on us to get their goods into the hands of customers.”
For retail buyers, RangeMe’s platform uses a dashboard to put thousands of products at their fingertips, making it easier to find and compare items. Automatic alerts are sent to buyers when new products meet their selection criteria. As a result, retail buyers can more efficiently source innovative new products and manage the inbound product submission process, according to San Francisco-based RangeMe.
“Schnucks’ commitment to source local products within their communities deeply aligns with our mission to help suppliers grow and thrive,” commented Nicky Jackson, founder and CEO of RangeMe, a subsidiary of Solon, Ohio-based ECRM. “We’re excited that RangeMe can assist on this amazing initiative by giving Schnucks’ buyers the tools to find local products at scale.”