|Founded||Janesville, Wisconsin (1919)|
|Number of locations||15|
|Key people||Phillip Woodman, President, CEO|
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. They have also been ranked as No. 4 in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 on list "Top 50 Small Chains & Independents", also by Supermarket News.
Woodman's Markets was started in 1919, by John Woodman as a produce stand in Janesville, WI. Woodman later expanded the produce stand into a small format grocery store. The first Woodman's outside of Janesville opened in 1971, in Beloit, WI. In 1979 & 1984 Woodman's opened two stores in Madison, WI; these two locations were the first to use the warehouse model now used at all locations. Today, Woodman's operates fifteen stores throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The Kenosha, WI store which opened in 1997 is the largest grocery store in the United States at 252,342 square feet.
In 1975, Woodman's became the first grocery store in the state of Wisconsin to use Universal Product Codes, UPCs. Woodman's converted into an entirely Employee Owned operation in 1998. In March 2008, Woodman's hit $1 billion in annual sales.
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. Nearly all Woodman's locations are laid out in the same format, with the main entrance on the right hand side of the building.
All stores feature two-three aisles of organic produce and grocery products. Woodman's stores also carry a wide variety of ethnic, gluten-free and vegetarian products, with a selection notably larger than most competitors.
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.
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's generic brand is Shurfine, which is one of the many brands of Skokie, Illinois-based private label manufacturer 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 printed local newspaper advertising and television commercials.
The company previously owned a stake in Roundy's, now a key regional competitor.
All Woodman's Markets have gas stations within close proximity to the main store; most also feature car washes & oil change centers. Most stores also have fresh in-store made sushi. The Waukesha, WI location also features Scrima's Take-&-Bake pizzas. Some Woodman's stores have photo development centers; however, these are slowly being phased out. Woodman's stores also provide parcel pick-up.
Woodman's has fifteen locations:
- Green Bay
- Madison, 2 Locations: Milwaukee St. (East Side) & Gammon Rd. (West Side)
- Menomonee Falls
- Oak Creek
- Sun Prairie
- "Private Company Overview: Woodman's Food Market" (PDF). PCG. September 2005. Retrieved 2006-09-04.
- "The Employee Ownership 100". The National Center for Employee Ownership. 2005. Retrieved 2006-09-04.
- 2009 Top 75 North American Food Retailers', Supermarket News, Retrieved on 2009-08-11
- 2010 Top 75 North American Food Retailers', Supermarket News, Retrieved on 2009-03-26
- Supermarket News. "Top 50 Small Chains& Independents 2010".
- Supermarket News. "Top 50 Small Chains & Independents 2011".
- Supermarket News. "Top 50 Small Chains and Independents 2012".