Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Changeover Tuesday: National to Schnucks Canvas to Cover Signs at Stores to Be Sold

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Changeover Tuesday: National to Schnucks Canvas to Cover Signs at Stores to Be Sold

Article excerpt

Schnuck Markets Inc. plans to start dismantling the red National sign atop the National Store at Sarah Avenue and Lindell Boulevard first thing Tuesday.

Crews will put up a new Schnucks sign - one of the most visible changes customers will see when the store reopens later that day.

The Lindell store is among the first National stores that will be converted to Schnucks as part of the biggest supermarket merger in St. Louis history. Schnucks is buying National from Loblaw Cos. of Canada.

The store-conversion process will start Monday, as soon as National and Schnucks complete an inventory of stock left after National closes its 57 stores at 6 p.m. Sunday. Most stores will reopen as Schnucks later in the week. A few will close for good.

At some stores, National's signs will come down and Schnucks signs will go up. At 18 others that Schnucks must sell to settle the government's antitrust concerns, temporary canvas signs will cover the National signs. Schnucks also must sell six of its own stores.

Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive of Schnuck Markets Inc., said the sign company failed to complete all the new Schnucks signs on time - the only major difficulty he has encountered in completing the National purchase.

If things go smoothly on Monday, shoppers can expect many changes and some similarities at the former Nationals. Among them:

New uniforms for store employees.

New shelf tags with Schnucks prices.

Schnucks brands in place of National's store brands, National and Kare.

Delivery trucks with the Schnucks soldier rather than National's big "N" on the side.

Customers will see some new faces at the checkstands, behind service counters, in the aisles and at the manager's office.

But many things - and many of the people - will be the same.

National customers can use their "Insider's Card" for check cashing at all Schnucks and former National stores. Schnucks cards also will be accepted at all of the stores.

National's pharmacy customers will be able to get their prescriptions refilled at the former Nationals.

President's Choice, a premium store brand that National introduced in St. …

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