MINNEAPOLIS and ST. LOUIS – Supervalu has entered into a definitive agreement to sell 19 Shop ‘n Save grocery stores to Schnuck Markets Inc. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the agreement has Supervalu serving as the primary supplier for nine of Schnucks’ existing stores in northern Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Both companies expect the transaction, which will involve a staggered close process, to finish by late October subject to customary closing conditions.

“Since announcing plans to pursue the sale of our Shop ‘n Save banner earlier this Spring, the team has worked diligently and successfully to put this agreement together,” said Mark Gross, Supervalu president and CEO. “This transaction is an important step in the continued transformation of our business. Schnucks is an excellent retailer in the St. Louis area and we’re pleased that these stores will become a part of their operation, including continuing to serve the communities and providing jobs to many of our employees.”

Schnucks said the acquired stores will be closed for roughly two and a half days during which time it will rebrand signs and fixtures, change point-of-sale systems and restock merchandise before a store reopens as a Schnucks.

Schnucks will acquire 15 in-store pharmacy locations and one stand-alone pharmacy for a total of 16 stores which will remain open. Prescription files at 10 other Shop ‘n Save pharmacy locations will be transferred to other Schnucks pharmacies in the area. “Customers of the Shop ‘n Save pharmacies that will close will receive detailed information on the transfer of their pharmacy files by mail within the next several days, and information will also be available at each pharmacy,” the companies explained.

Schnucks will also acquire four of Shop ‘n Save’s seven fuel centers.

The acquisition follows an announcement of two other new Schnucks locations. The company opened a Schnucks that had previously been a Shop ‘n Save in Maplewood, Missouri, in August. A new Schnucks currently is under construction and is scheduled to open in the fall in Warrenton, Missouri.

“Schnucks is proud to be growing in our hometown of St. Louis, excited about the opportunity to serve new customers, and looking forward to welcoming the employees at these 19 stores to Schnucks,” said Todd Schnuck, chairman and CEO of Schnuck Markets. “We want longtime customers of each store to know that we are eager to earn your business, and we’ll be working closely with Supervalu and Shop ‘n Save to ensure a smooth and successful transition.”

Supervalu noted that all Shop ‘n Save stores and fuel centers not included in the transaction currently will remain open. However, the stores will be closed later this year in the event Supervalu cannot find a buyer for the remaining stores.

Also, Supervalu expects to close the company’s St. Louis distribution center following the completion of the transaction because the center predominantly serves Shop ‘n Save stores.

Supervalu said employees affected by the closures will be notified as the company prepares to either sell or, if not sold, close the locations.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Supervalu is one of the largest wholesale grocers in the United States with annual sales of approximately $15 billion. The company operates a network of 3,606 stores, a portfolio that includes 3,495 wholesale primary stores operated by customers serviced by the company’s food distribution business and 111 traditional retail grocery stores in continuing operations operated under three retail banners in three geographic regions as of June 16. Supervalu employs approximately 23,000 people.

Schnuck Markets is a third-generation family owned grocery and pharmacy retailer based in St. Louis with estimated revenues of more than $2 billion. The company operates 99 stores serving customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa and employs more than 13,000 workers. Forbes ranked Schnuck Markets as 170th largest privately-owned company in the US and the 16th largest privately owned grocer in 2017.