Business

WinCo is now nation’s 7th largest employee-owned company

Deli Clerk Pat Back hands wild salmon filets to a customer at WinCo Foods on Fairview Avenue in Boise in 2013.
Deli Clerk Pat Back hands wild salmon filets to a customer at WinCo Foods on Fairview Avenue in Boise in 2013. jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com

Boise’s WinCo is now the seventh largest employee-owned company in the U.S., with about 15,200 employees.

The National Center for Employee Ownership last month ranked the 100 largest companies that are majority-owned by employees. The list includes companies with at least 1,100 full- and part-time employees.

MORE: How Boise’s homegrown discount grocer WinCo keeps expanding

WinCo, the fast-growing discount grocery chain, is owned by an employee stock ownership plan. The ESOP is similar to a retirement plan that owns shares of the company.

One retail analyst has called the grocery chain “Wal-Mart’s worst nightmare.”

WinCo has grown, mostly in the past 15 years, to include 109 stores in eight Western states. It boasts some employee-owners who started working for the company in its early days and are now millionaires.

Audrey Dutton: 208-377-6448, @IDS_Audrey

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