Spokane Journal of Business

WinCo chain coming to Spokane

Discount grocer to develop 93,000-square-foot store near Nevada on North Side

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Boise-based discount grocery chain WinCo Foods Inc. has bought 20 acres of land along Nevada Street in North Spokane and says it plans to enter the market here with a roughly 93,000-square-foot store it will build at that site.

Last week, WinCo Foods bought property south of Holland Avenue, east of Dakota Street, and west of Nevada Street from Spokane resident Sandy Sicilia, says Chad Carper, a broker at Spokane-based Kiemle & Hagood Co., who handled the sale of the property.

WinCo hasnt set a start date for construction yet, but plans to open the store in the fall of 2008 and likely would hire between 150 and 200 employees to work there, says Michael Read, its Boise-based spokesman.

Construction of its stores typically takes between eight months and a year, Read says. He declines to disclose the estimated cost of the project.

Jay Street, which currently ends at Dakota, will be extended east to Nevada, so the store will be located at the northwest corner of Jay and Nevada, Carper says.

Meanwhile, Phoenix-based Kornwasser Shopping Center Properties LLC has bought from WinCo six acres of the site, fronting on Nevada, Carper says. That company plans to develop two strip center buildings on that land, with at least 10,000 square feet of space in each, in conjunction with construction of the WinCo store.

It also plans to develop two retail pads on the site, says Carper, who is marketing Kornwassers development.

WinCos stores include a wide selection of groceries, fresh meat and produce, a bakery, a deli, bulk foods, and typically a pizzeria, Read says. The stores are open 24 hours a day.

The WinCo outlet here would be located within a major North Side retail district.

Nearby big boxes include a Wal-Mart supercenter, Home Depot, and the Northpointe Plaza retail center. Sams Club, the members-only warehouse-store chain operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., had planned to build a store at the northeast corner of Nevada and Lincoln Road, southeast of the planned WinCo Foods store, but Wal-Mart announced last month that it wont move forward with that project.

We do look at competitors already opening in the market, and were comfortable given the current conditions in Spokane, Read says. We think Spokane has the potential to be a good market for us.

WinCos main competitors are discount grocery stores, including Wal-Mart, he says. It also competes, though, with other grocery retailers such as Costco, Sams Club, Target, and even convenience stores, he says.

The companys Web site says it has 57 stores in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and California. Currently, the closest WinCo store to Spokane is located in Moscow, Idaho.

Read declines to disclose whether WinCo is considering opening other outlets here, but says, We always keep our eyes open for opportunities in markets where were operating.

WinCo employs more than 9,000 people, and is owned mostly by its employees through an employee stock ownership program.

Contact Emily Proffitt at (509) 344-1265 or via e-mail at emilyp@spokanejournal.com.

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