Supervalu has sold 19 of its Shop 'n Save stores to Schnuck Markets. ( File Photo )

Supervalu has agreed to sell 19 of its 36 Shop ‘n Save stores to St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets.

The locations will only close for about two and a half days, with the goal being to switch out signage, fixtures and point-of-sale systems in that time before reopening the stores as Schnucks, according to a news release. Fourteen of the stores are in Missouri, and five are in Illinois.

“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,” chairman and CEO Todd Schnuck said in the release. “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.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of October.

As part of the deal, Supervalu will be the primary supplier for nine existing Schnucks stores in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Supervalu, recently purchased by United Natural Foods Inc., has been engaged in selling retail assets for some time as it has focused on the wholesale segment of its business.

“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,” Supervalu president and CEO Mark Gross said in a separate news release. “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.”

The 17 Shop ‘n Save locations not being purchased by Schnucks remain open but will be closed later this year unless buyers are found. Supervalu also plans to close its St. Louis distribution center, which primarily serves Shop ‘n Save stores.