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Boise’s WinCo Foods eyes these vacant Shopkos in Northwest for new stores

Can retail be rescued? Why so many U.S. stores are closing

Stores that have been staples of the American shopping tradition for decades are closing in large numbers. Take a closer look at the reasons why it’s so hard for retailers to stay open.
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Stores that have been staples of the American shopping tradition for decades are closing in large numbers. Take a closer look at the reasons why it’s so hard for retailers to stay open.

As Boise’s WinCo Foods readies to build a second Meridian store, the discount grocer also looks to expand its market share in adjacent states.

According to recent news reports in Wenatchee, Wash., and Eugene, Oregon, employee-owned WinCo is taking steps to make investments in both communities – and in shuttered Shopko stores, among the hundreds closed this year by the retailer.

Newsradio 560 KPQ reported Aug. 13 that WinCo representatives met with city of Wenatchee staff during a pre-application meeting to remodel an empty 90,000-square-foot building.

City officials said the meeting allowed the staff to inform WinCo of the requirements needed ito occupy the former Shopko building on North Wenatchee Avenue. The report said WinCo is considering $8 million to $10 million in improvements.

The Eugene Register-Guard on Aug. 1 said a WinCo representative met with city officials in mid-June about remodeling another former Shopko building, a 100,000-square-foot space, in Oregon’s second-largest city.

“The company has not filed a building permit, and a city spokesperson cautioned consultation meetings are preliminary,” said the Register-Guard. The newspaper said WinCo operates two other stores in the Eugene area.

WinCo now has 126 locations and 18,000 employees in eight western states as well as Oklahoma and Texas.

Known for its low prices, WinCo does not accept credit cards and requires customers to bag their own groceries to save the company time and money.

Fiscal year 2017-18 sales at WinCo were $7 billion, according to Supermarket News.

Shopko gave up its three-store retail footprint in the Treasure Valley, and a distribution center in southeast Boise, earlier this year when the general goods retailer filed for bankruptcy.

Local commercial real estate advisors say the spaces should backfill in fairly short order.

Albertsons, the supermarket chain that is also based in Boise, renovated a former Shopko store at Eagle Road and Fairview Avenue in Meridian that it opened in March as Albertsons Market Street.

The Idaho Statesman contributed.

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