2014 Best of Treasure Valley: Shopping

adutton@idahostatesman.comJune 20, 2014 

Winco, Boise, supermarket, store, idaho

Shoppers browse the frozen food cases. The first day of each month is typically one of the busiest times to visit a WinCo in Idaho. That’s when the state issues food-stamp benefits.

JOE JASZEWSKI — jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Newcomers made a strong showing this year among shoppers, as specialty grocer Trader Joe’s and floral designer Flowers at Will took third-place honors in their categories after being open for a matter of months — not years or decades.

Some local giants beat out national and global companies that have stores all over the Valley, too. Fast-growing Boise-based discount grocer WinCo is known for a few things. It’s often cheaper than its competitors, and WinCo isn’t shy about proving as much: It hangs price-comparison signs over its most competitively priced products. WinCo’s employee-owned structure has created some millionaire cashiers and a high retention rate among staff. And the no-frills approach — customers bag their own groceries and can’t use credit cards — helps keeps prices low.

Nampa-based Zamzows and its catchy radio ads may lead you to believe its bread and butter is its exhaustive inventory of natural lawn-care and garden supplies. But fans know Zamzows also carries pet food and supplies — enough to win Best Pet Store.

The 76-year-old retailer has its own brand of dog food, cat food and treats, such as Grandma Z’s beef and potato dog treats. Among the retailer’s products is Zamzows Spot Be Gone, an additive for dog food or water that the company says will neutralize dog urine that creates conspicuous dead spots all over the lawn.

The Best Shoe Store wasn’t a shoe store at all: Dillard’s is a department store with a popular shoe section. Major retailer DSW — whose Boise store opened fairly recently — is more like a vast shoe emporium and took a close second.

Tucked away in a shopping center on Fairview west of Locust Grove in Meridian, Kidz Again beat out strong competitors for both Best Children’s Clothing Store and Best Consignment Shop. The store buys and sells clothing, toys and baby equipment. It knows its target market: parents with fast-growing kids. Kidz Again will pay money for outgrown onesies, then its customer can turn right around and buy a toddler outfit with the cash.

Need transportation to get there? Voters prefer to buy cars at Bronco Motors.

Best Grocery Store

1. WinCo

2. Fred Meyer

3. Trader Joe’s

Best Bookstore

1. Barnes & Noble Booksellers

2. Rediscovered Books

3. Hastings

Best Place to Buy a Car

1. Bronco Motors

2. Peterson Auto Group

3. Edmark Superstore

Best Consignment Shop

1. Kidz Again

2. Again Consignment Boutique

3. Plato’s Closet

Best Arts & Crafts Store

1. Hobby Lobby

2. Michaels

3. Craft Warehouse

Best Home Decor Store

1. Bed Bath & Beyond

2. Hobby Lobby

3. Cost Plus World Market

Best Florist

1. Boise At Its Best Flowers

2. Hope Blooms Flowers & Things

3. Flowers At Will

Best Jewelry/Watch Store

1. Fred Meyer

2. Lee Read Jewelers

3. Hal Davis Jewelers

Best Children’s Clothing Store

1. Kidz Again

2. Target

3. The Children’s Place

Best Men’s Clothing Store

1. Macy’s

2. Dillard’s

3. Kohl’s

Best Pet Store

1. Zamzows

2. Petsmart

3. Petco

Best Pharmacy

1. Walgreens

2. Albertsons Sav-on

3. Fred Meyer

Best Shoe Store

1. Dillard’s

2. DSW

3. Famous Footwear

Thrift Store

1. Idaho Youth Ranch

2. Goodwill

3. Savers

Best Women’s Clothing Store

1. Macy’s

2. Kohl’s

3. Dillard’s

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service