Discount grocery store coming to Federal Way


The Mirror

Grocery Outlet, a discount food store, plans to open in Federal Way by the end of this year.

The Berkeley, Calif.-based company will lease the building at Pacific Highway South and South 330th Street formerly occupied by a Value Village store, which closed last month. Renovations to add refrigeration and other grocery store amenities are scheduled for August, said Jon Wiley, vice president of marketing.

Grocery Outlet started in the mid-1940s as Cannery Sales, buying warehouse overstocks and selling them at discounts. Now, 118 Grocery Outlet stores in eight western states sell the food, beverage and household products of about 2,500 brand-name manufacturers. Items include frozen and refrigerated food, dry groceries, beer and wine, health and beauty products and over-the-counter drugs.

With savings up to 40 percent below retail prices, Grocery Outlet is cashing in on consumers’ desire for discounts, officials said.

“Our customers are people looking for bargains, either because they have to or because they like bargains,” Wiley said.

According to Grocery Outlet, a study by A.C. Nielsen, the polling service, showed that 40 percent of households with incomes over $70,000 a year regularly shop at stores like Grocery Outlet. In a separate, recent marketing survey conducted by Pulse Research for the Mirror, 26 percent of household incomes in Federal Way are between $50,000 and $75,000.

Federal Way was chosen for Grocery Outlet’s 23rd store in Washington because “it’s a great area,” Wiley said. “There’s lots of traffic on Pacific Highway. It’s where we can reach the best of our target audience.”

He said the location “fills in the market” between other Grocery Outlet stores in Kent, Tacoma and Burien.

A combined full-time and part-time staff of about 20 will work at the approximately 20,000-square-foot store. It will open in the final three months of 2004, but a firm date hasn’t been set, Wiley said.

Operators of other Grocery Outlet stores in the Puget Sound area are among the candidates to run the Federal Way store. Wiley said family-run operations, often involving married couples, is the management “model” throughout the chain. Community ties are important to the company, he said.

Grocery Outlet, claiming to beat “even the lowest of the low-price discount” retailers, announced company-record sales of more than $500 million in fiscal 2002.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565,

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