WinCo is a regional employee-owned grocery chain with headquarters in Boise, Idaho. Founded as a private business in 1967 with one store in Boise, it was sold in 1985 to its employees using an ESOP, employee stock ownership plan. At that time there were 18 WinCo stores with average sales of only $11 million. Under employee ownership, by 2007 there were over 50 stores, and in 2013 nearly 100 with average sales of $55 million.
WinCo is a no-frills operation using big-box locations abandoned by other retailers and buying directly from farms manufacturers, transporting its purchases using its own fleet of trucks. WinCo is one of the few stores that consistently beats Walmart for low prices. There is little or no advertising and customers bag their own groceries.
Notes and references
- "Pricing: WinCo Keeps Costs Down and Velocity High" article by Jon Springer on Supermarket.com April 29, 2013
- "A win-Winco situation: Grocery chain treats employees well and has low prices" article by Claire Thompson in Grist August 14, 2013
- "Meet the Low-Key, Low-Cost Grocery Chain Being Called ‘Walmart’s Worst Nightmare’" article by Brad Tuttle in Time August 07, 2013