Breaking News

Schnucks to close two Rockford stores

May 1, 2014
SchnucksRural

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

Schnucks Markets, Inc., will close two of its 10 Rockford-area supermarkets at the end of May, the St. Louis-based chain announced Thursday, May 1.

The move will close the 42,000-square-foot store at 2514 S. Alpine Road, and the market at 1715 Rural St., Rockford. Both stores will close at 5 p.m., Saturday, May 31. Company officials say the 139 employees affected by the move will be offered jobs at remaining Rockford locations. 

The company plans to find a tenant for the Rural Street store. Schnucks acquired the 30,000-square-foot building in 2011, when it purchased area Hilander stores from The Kroger Co. Schnucks leases the Alpine Road property from a company based in Mequon, Wis. The lease expires July 31.

Schnucks is also closing its in-store restaurants in the East State Street and Loves Park stores, eliminating 24 full- and part-time positions. 

“In order to stay competitive and offer the value our customers want and need, we are discontinuing services currently underutilized by the majority of our customers,” CEO Todd Schnuck said. “Eliminating positions is always a last resort, but these are directly related to the closed functions and could not be absorbed. Our popular pizzerias will remain open and, in fact, we are expanding the menu selection. In order to ensure the continuation of excellent dining experiences, the in-store seating areas will remain.”

The closures leaves Schnucks with eight remaining area stores, including East State Street, Harlem Road, Charles Street, Roscoe and Cherry Valley. 

Schnucks was founded in 1939 in St. Louis. The company operates 101 stores in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin.

11 Comments

  1. Patrick Huey

    May 1, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    This is very sad, as I live just blocks from the Rural Oaks Schnucks store. It was really convenient for me to shop there, and now I will have to drive or hop a bus just to get to the next Schnucks store. Having said that, I’m surprised they hadn’t closed the store at Rural Oaks sooner, since it was one of the oldest and smallest-size supermarket in Rockford. This will leave only three former Logli and Highlander stores west of Alpine Road (Rockton Ave., 11th St., Charles St.).

  2. Susan

    May 1, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    More and more if you live west of Mulford you are losing services. We are becoming a city of grocery, medical, and shop deserts.

    • Jon Weber

      May 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      I disagree, to some degree.

      Here is a map of mostly Rockford grocery stores I made from memory; a few are probably missing, albeit unintentionally. I made this map because many locals want to discuss “food deserts” but don’t realize how close they truly are or are not to where fresh food is regularly sold. No one ever seems to have a map available of local grocery stores to do an actual check on this phenomenon, so here is one.

      I declined to list convenience stores, or stores selling groceries as a sideline to a main, different, business (such as a tobacco shop, gas station, liquor store, dollar store, etc.). If you have an issue with this, make your own darn map with your own list… If you own a grocery store I missed, please let me know so I can add it to the map. I especially encourage ethnic food stores, fresh meat markets, and other fresh-food grocery stores to let me know so these shops can be added to the map.

      I’ve seen “food deserts” usually defined as areas not being within a 15 minute travel distance (via one’s selected travel method). If traveling via car, Rockford has few food deserts; if traveling via foot, we might have a few. As a reference point, I am presently able to walk roughly one mile empty-handed in about 15 minutes as long as the weather cooperates-you might have a different “15 minute” distance than I do. Obviously bicycles, scooters, skateboards, cars, and pushing a stroller/cart might change this distance.

      Here is the link to the map: feel free to share it, with an attribution. https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=210162324656985185159.0004f85cd7502a5e23bc1&msa=0&ll=42.285945%2C-89.064102&spn=0.28091%2C0.486145&source=gplus-ogsb&dg=feature

      Cheers,
      Jon Weber

      • Bob

        May 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

        Your post is a rare injection of much needed critical thought. The “food desert” term is tossed around often locally as a settled issue. Your research proves that the facts presented by food desert proponents are simply not true.

        • Jon Weber

          May 5, 2014 at 11:09 am

          One thing my map does not show is where to buy food directly from the grower, which is the freshest food of which I know; local CSA pick-up locations and farmer’s markets (where the seller actually grows the food they sell, not where the seller buys from the same sources as the grocery stores listed) would make for an interesting addition to the map in the future.

          I also declined to add bakeries (for now) to this map, but know of a few of these I regularly support with my purchases.

          My map also does not show the size of a given store; smaller shops throw-off the actual food availability picture, but are a valuable resource for food in some neighborhoods as well as for ethnic-food devotees.

          Hopefully the map will raise a few questions while also answering several of them.

  3. Albert

    May 2, 2014 at 8:38 am

    How unfortunate for those who work and live near Rural Oaks. Won’t be long before Schmucks builds a super giant colossus store to compete with Meijer.

    • mike davis

      May 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      yes but we will first have to subsidize and give tax breaks

  4. Paul Gorski

    May 2, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Schnucks is closing stores and Meijers is opening stores in Rockford and Machesney Park and possibly South Beloit. Wal-Mart and Walgreens have held back on plans to expand here.

    Seems the marketing people for these different companies see different futures for consumer spending in Winnebago County.

    Also, while I’m not sure if any local Family Dollar stores are closing, 370 Family Dollar stores are slated for closing in the US. And Kroger, which used to be in Rockford, is closing stores in some areas of the US. Dominicks closed all of its Chicago stores last year. There is a lot of change and churn in the supermarket business these days.

  5. Paul Gorski

    May 6, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    A link to USDA food desert map (and my article about it) here:
    http://rockrivertimes.com/2014/05/06/tech-friendly-food-desert-map-of-rockford/

    • Jon Weber

      May 7, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      The USDA map is a good start, but does not show locals where they can actually get food.

  6. Susan

    May 15, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Schnucks has made all its employees part time. There is also a rumore that they are trying to sell the Rockton Ave. store. Could someone investigate this?

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