Woodman's Markets

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Woodman's Food Markets, Inc.
Founded Janesville, Wisconsin (1919)
Headquarters Janesville, Wisconsin
Number of locations
Key people
Chris Gaudaen, President, CEO
Products Grocery
Revenue $2 Billion[1]
Number of employees
Website woodmans-food.com

Woodman's Markets is an employee-owned supermarket, based out of Janesville, WI operating stores in Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Supermarket News has ranked Woodman's as No. 75 on their "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" list, in 2009 & 2010.[3][4] They have also been ranked as No. 4 in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 on list "Top 50 Small Chains & Independents", also by Supermarket News.[5][6][7]


Woodman's operates on a warehouse model, with stores in the 200-250,000+ square foot range, in contrast to the 50-75,000 square foot size of typical grocery stores. Stores are built with a minimum level of amenities, usually with inexpensive materials. The company prefers not to take on debt, so it only opens new stores every 2–3 years.

Produce, because it is purchased in bulk from the lowest cost supplier available at any one time, can vary in quality and freshness from one time to another. A common practice is to place an entire pallet of merchandise on the sales floor, cut the tops off the boxes and allow the customer to handle the product. Other perishable items, such as meat, can vary in quality, as well.

Woodman's liquor sections are quite large when compared to other chains. Beer selection includes national brands, regional craft brews, and imports; many other brands can be obtained by special request. At a new or recently remodeled Woodman's, the liquor store is often as large as a typical small-town grocery.

Shopping carts are varied, with the newest stores having electric carts for those unable to navigate the large area of the store, oversized carts for those making large purchases, and carts that allow two children to be strapped in.


Woodman's Markets was started in 1919, as a produce stand in Janesville, WI. In 1979 & 1984 Woodman's opened two stores in Madison, WI; these were the first to use the warehouse model now used at all locations. Today, Woodman's operates fifteen stores throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Woodman's converted into an entirely Employee Owned operation in 1998. In March 2008, Woodman's hit $1 billion in annual sales.

Sales model[edit]

Prices at Woodman's are lower than at many large grocery store chains because of their bulk purchasing model. Most items are stocked on the shelves by employees, but special bulk purchases and other items are sometimes shelved in their shipping cases or stacked in the aisles. Some items are regional brands not typically found in Wisconsin. The store brand is Shurfine, which is one of the many brands of Elk Grove Village, Illinois-based private label co-op Topco Associates.

Woodman's allows payment only by cash, check, PIN-based debit cards and EBT. Woodman's does not accept payment by credit card as they will not pay processing fees or assess them on their customers. To help keep prices low, advertising is limited to occasional newspaper advertising and low-cost television commercials featuring Phil Woodman himself advertising store specials.

The company previously owned a stake in Roundy's, now a key regional competitor.

Other services[edit]

All Woodman's Markets have gas stations within close proximity to the main store. Most stores also have fresh in-store made sushi. Woodman's stores also provide parcel pick-up.


Woodman's has fifteen locations:



  1. ^ "Private Company Overview: Woodman's Food Market" (PDF). PCG. September 2005. Retrieved 2006-09-04. 
  2. ^ "The Employee Ownership 100". The National Center for Employee Ownership. 2005. Retrieved 2006-09-04. 
  3. ^ 2009 Top 75 North American Food Retailers', Supermarket News, Retrieved on 2009-08-11
  4. ^ 2010 Top 75 North American Food Retailers', Supermarket News, Retrieved on 2009-03-26
  5. ^ Supermarket News. "Top 50 Small Chains& Independents 2010". 
  6. ^ Supermarket News. "Top 50 Small Chains & Independents 2011". 
  7. ^ Supermarket News. "Top 50 Small Chains and Independents 2012". 

External links[edit]