|GHQ| RETAIL SPOTLIGHT
ceiling-high with bargains—WinCo’s famous Wall of Values.
To further drive home the “such a deal” theme, pallets of groceries are stacked high above the aisles on steel shelving reaching almost
to the top of the 30-foot high ceiling. The ceiling is exposed and giant
manhole-size pipework runs the length of the store delivering HVAC.
It all connotes a warehouse atmosphere.
“Most of our stores have the layout going the other way, but this store
is the oddball in Texas because of the way the receiving department is
set up,” Robbins says. “That Wall of Values is what we showcase to our
customers. They are bulk deals, large displays, national name brands.”
In addition to dry grocery, doored cases offer bargains on refrigerated and frozen foods. On a recent visit, that included a 12-ounce package of John Morrell bacon for $2.28, Pillsbury Butterflake Crescent
rolls for $1.78 a can, Hot Pockets for $1.68 a box and Talenti Gelato,
at $3.48 a pint. Grocery values included a 16-count bag of Mission
Tortillas for $1.88, Del Monte fruit cocktail for 98-cents a can, a big
28-ounce of Van Camp’s Baked Beans for $1.28 and a 105-ounce can of
Juanita Hominy for only $2.68.
Shop around; you cannot beat that price. Actually, you do not have to
since WinCo has done the work for shoppers. Many items sport orange
“Compare the Savings” signs touting the price differences between
WinCo Foods, Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons for the exact same
item. “We send our people out to comparison shop, and as they walk
through the store our customers see the orange ‘Compare the Savings’
signs, so we have already done the low price comparisons for you,”
The Wall of Savings leads into the produce department along the left
wall, followed by WinCo’s bulk foods department.
“Our customers told us they wanted bigger produce departments
and wider aisles, so we did that here,” Robbins says. “Our bulk section
has remained the same for years just because our customers really love
coming to WinCo and having a huge assortment of bulk items.”
Currently, WinCo’s Texas stores are supplied by AWG’s Ft. Worth
Distribution Center, but the chain is about to open its own distribution
center in Denton, Texas.
“Once we have our own distribution center we’ll see more Texas
Grown produce in our stores,” Robbins says.
Adjacent to bulk foods is a large sushi counter. “We make sushi seven