Newspaper calls out PR rep for apparent lie about store closings

Instead of saying ‘no comment,’ this PR pro swore that her company wasn’t closing down local stores. When the company did, a local newspaper held her accountable.

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As the chain recently prepared to sell its Memphis locations, PR rep Lori Willis sold the company line—that they weren’t going anywhere—to the local paper, The Commercial Appeal.

Days later, the store was on its way out of town and Willis is the star of an unflattering Commercial Appeal article. Rather than giving a “no comment” when asked about Schnucks’ impending departure, Willis told the paper it was staying put, despite her knowledge of a deal that was in the works.

In an interview with The Commercial Appeal just eight days before the company announced the sale and shuttering of stores, Willis said:

“Typically, we would not comment on rumor and speculation, but I will acknowledge these rumors have gotten to a point with the media where I feel I need to tell you there is no truth to those rumors … It’s business as usual at our stores … Most questions have come from The Commercial Appeal. We have not had any questions outside that.” She also said: “There is no deal regarding any sale or purchase with regard to the Schnucks company.”

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