WinCo Watch: Grocer on move to Missoula

Steve Sinovic//October 11, 2019

WinCo Watch: Grocer on move to Missoula

Steve Sinovic//October 11, 2019

The WinCo store in Nampa opened in early 2017. The Boise-based company is expanding its footprint to other Western states.
File photo

As Trader Joe’s readies to drop anchor at its second Idaho store in Meridian, Boise’s homegrown discount grocer is thinking big – as in Big Sky Country.

And what better than an empty Shopko to launch a new business.

Media outlets in Oregon and Washington have recently reported about the grocer’s strategy of backfilling shuttered Shopko stores in places like Wenatchee, Eugene and Bend.

True to form, it looks like another vacant Shopko in Missoula, Montana, is part of WinCo’s future expansion plan, according to an Oct. 9 article in the Missoulian.

A company representative told the newspaper that it will start remodeling the site in spring 2020, weather permitting.

“We saw an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up,” Noah Fleisher, a spokesman for WinCo Foods, told the newspaper. “The response to WinCo Foods in both Helena and Billings has been overwhelming, and the people of Missoula made it very clear they wanted WinCo, too.”

“Montana and WinCo Foods has been a great fit so far,” Fleisher said. “We can’t wait to bring our unique brand of low prices and quality to the people of Missoula.”

The employee-owned company operates 128 stores and six distribution centers and employs more than 20,000, according to the company website. Founded in 1967, WinCo has most of its stores clustered in the western United States.

WinCo does not accept credit cards and requires customers to bag their own groceries to save the company time and money. Fiscal year 2017-2018 sales at WinCo were $7 billion, according to Supermarket News.

On the subject of grocery stores, the Meridian Chamber of Commerce on its website said it is hosting a ribbon cutting and open house at Idaho’s second Trader Joe’s store at 2986 N. Eagle Road on Oct. 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Music, games and fun are promised.