WinCo Foods

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WinCo Foods, Inc.
IndustryRetail grocer
HeadquartersBoise, Idaho, U.S.
Number of locations
Key people
Gary Piva, Chairman
Grant Haag, President/CEO
Richard Charrier, COO
David Butler, CFO
RevenueUS$7.2 billion (2019)[2]
Number of employees
20,000 [3]

WinCo Foods, Inc. is a privately held, majority employee-owned[4][5][6] American supermarket chain based in Boise, Idaho with retail stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas,[7] Utah, and Washington. It previously operated stores as Waremart Food Centers and Cub Foods (under a franchise agreement) until 1999. WinCo foods began reestablishing Waremart Foods in 2017. WinCo has 128 retail stores and six distribution centers with over 20,000 employees.[1][8]


WinCo Foods is based in Boise, Idaho. It was founded in 1967, and the company is mostly owned by current and former employees through an employee stock ownership plan. WinCo has a total of just over 18,000 employees company-wide, and operates distribution centers in: Woodburn, Oregon; Myrtle Creek, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Phoenix, Arizona; Denton, Texas; and Modesto, California.[1]

The company reduces operating expenses by purchasing directly from manufacturers and farmers; operating basic, no-frills stores; not accepting credit cards; and not providing bagging service.[9]


From 1967 to 1999, WinCo operated as Waremart Food Centers.

The company, originally called Waremart, was founded in Boise, Idaho in 1967 by Ralph Ward and Bud Williams.[6][10] In 1985, Waremart employees established an employee stock ownership plan and purchased a majority stake of Waremart from the Ward family, making the company employee-owned.[6][10]

In January 1991, Waremart opened an 82,000 square-foot store in Boise to replace the two older Boise stores.[11] At the time, Waremart was operating 16 stores in the Northwest and had reported annual sales of more than $300 million.[11]

In 1999, Waremart changed its name to WinCo Foods. According to the company, the name WinCo is a portmanteau of Winning Company, however, the company also says the name refers to the five states where the company originally operated stores (Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, and Oregon).[12] One store in Independence, Oregon retains the Waremart name. In 2017 and 2018, two smaller stores branded as "Waremart by WinCo" were opened in Ontario and Keizer, Oregon.

Store in the Orenco area of Hillsboro, Oregon

In 2007, WinCo Foods accused a competing chain, Save Mart, of directing a lawsuit filed by a neighborhood group Tracy First of Tracy, California, to oppose city approval of a WinCo store. That same year, WinCo Foods opened in Pittsburg, California.[13]

In early 2009, WinCo opened its first two stores in the Spokane, Washington, area.[14] In October, 2009, WinCo expanded to Utah, adding two stores in West Valley City and Midvale.[10][15][16] An additional Utah store opened in Roy on June 28, 2010.[17][18] bringing the total number of stores expanded to Utah to five.[19] WinCo previously operated stores in Utah under the Waremart banner prior to the company's name change.[10][20]

In January 2011, WinCo began signing leases for an expansion to Southern Nevada and Arizona.[21] The chain opened stores in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, on March 4, 2012.[22] The company's first two stores in Arizona opened on April 1, 2012 in the Phoenix area.[23] The company has opened multiple locations in Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area.[1][24][25] In late 2014, WinCo announced that it would enter the Oklahoma City metro market, starting with stores in Moore and Midwest City, with plans to open two other locations in the metro.[26] In March 2017, WinCo opened its 114th store in Moses Lake, Washington.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "WinCo Corporate Site". Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "WinCo Foods". Forbes. 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Zwiebach, Elliot (June 24, 2013). "WinCo's Employee-Owners Speak Out". Supermarket News.
  5. ^ "WinCo Foods LLC Company Profile". Hoovers. Dun & Bradstreet. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "WinCo Foods". Retrieved 31 August 2013. Eighty percent of the company is employee owned.
  7. ^ Zwiebach, Elliot (January 31, 2014). "WinCo sets first two Texas openings". Supermarket News.
  8. ^ Zwiebach, Elliot (June 24, 2013). "WinCo Goes for the Win". Supermarket News.
  9. ^ Tuttle, Brad (7 August 2013). "Meet the Low-Key, Low-Cost Grocery Chain Being Called 'Walmart's Worst Nightmare'". Time. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d "History". WinCo Foods. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  11. ^ a b "Idaho's largest supermarket set to open Monday at Boise". Lewiston Morning Tribune. 27 January 1991.
  12. ^ FAQs at
  13. ^ "Hidden Billionaire Found With Food Fortune in California". Bloomberg. August 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013. In Tracy, California, WinCo accused Save Mart in 2007 of directing a lawsuit filed by neighborhood group Tracy First against the city for approving a new WinCo store, according to a state court document.
  14. ^ Zwiebach, Elliot (February 10, 2009). "WinCo Makes Spokane Debut, Eyes Utah". Supermarket News.
  15. ^ "Winco Foods Building Utah Sites". Supermarket News. May 19, 2009.
  16. ^ "New WinCo DC Facilitates Utah Growth". Supermarket News. September 23, 2009.
  17. ^ WinCo Foods, LLC (2010). "WinCo foods announces grand opening of new store in Roy, Utah". Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Idaho grocery store chain coming to Utah". May 15, 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  19. ^ "WinCo opening five new stores in Utah". The Daily Herald. 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  20. ^ "WinCo Eyes Eastward Expansion". August 8, 2011. WinCo opened a distribution center in Boise late in 2009, and it said at the time it needed 10 stores in Utah to make that facility efficient. It has opened five of those stores already, so it seems it is looking to capitalize on the move into Utah and then go into other areas before refocusing its efforts on Southern California.
  21. ^ "WinCo grocery chain plans Arizona expansion". East Valley Tribune. 23 January 2011.
  22. ^ "Attention shoppers: WinCo Foods opens 2 stores in Southern Nevada". Las Vegas Sun. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  23. ^ "WinCo to open new grocery stores in Phoenix". Phoenix Business Journal. 2 March 2012.
  24. ^ Trainor, Gene (5 July 2013). "WinCo picks site in North Richland Hills for supermarket". Star-Telegram. Retrieved 7 July 2013. North Richland Hills is the third North Texas location selected by the company. A store at Sycamore School and Crowley roads in south Fort Worth is expected to open early next year, along with another in McKinney. The company had focused its business in seven Western states, including California, Oregon and Washington.
  25. ^ Halkias, Maria (1 August 2013). "North Carolina grocer to open Dallas stores in Turtle Creek Village and near the Arboretum". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  26. ^ Bailey, Brianna (October 30, 2014). "Idaho-based grocer plans Midwest City store". Midwest City, Oklahoma: The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  27. ^ OneNews, iFIBER. "Moses Lake WinCo opens Thursday to lines of shoppers". iFIBER One News. Retrieved 2017-05-13.

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