Labor Crunch Prompts Schnucks to Close Earlier

In a sign of just how challenging the labor crisis is for grocers, Schnucks is going to close most of its stores an hour earlier.

The company announced that beginning Oct. 4, most Schnucks stores throughout Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin will observe new daily operating hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nine stores in the St. Louis area will remain open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Schnucks is also reducing its deli, meat and seafood department service counter hours, which will now be open to serve customers 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

The company said in a statement that these new operating hours are being “updated in response to the challenging labor market as well as evolving customer shopping patterns.”

Ted Schnuck, the company’s EVP for supermarkets, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the changes would better align staffing with the times customers are shopping. The last hour of the day has long seen few customers, and it’s only seen fewer as the pandemic changed commute patterns and made more people work from home.

“This is all about having our teammates in the store when our customers are in the store,” he said.

Schnucks also said it is awarding eligible store and facility teammates a performance and retention bonus. Teammates who qualify could receive up to $600 in a one-time bonus paying out in January 2022. The performance and retention bonus will be based on hours worked. This is the fourth bonus Schnucks has issued to teammates since the spring of 2020.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our teammates have remained committed to our customers and our communities,” said Schnuck. “As we look ahead to the busy holiday season, we are acknowledging their contributions and are thankful for their continued efforts to help us nourish people’s lives.”

New this year, in an effort to extend the holiday time teammates have with their families, all Schnucks stores will close on Dec. 26.

On Oct. 7, Schnucks is hosting a company-wide career fair at all 111 stores as well as the Schnucks Bakery Plant to hire for a variety of positions offering flexible schedules, career advancement, paid weekly, health benefits (after a qualifying period) and other teammate perks. Most positions are part-time to start. No experience is necessary. 

St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets Inc. operates 111 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, and employs 13,000 associates. The company is No. 64 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.