January 27, 2017

WinCo Foods' planned Tulsa store part of chain's reach into Oklahoma

By Rhett Morgan Tulsa World
Posted: Friday, January 27, 2017

 

WinCo Foods’ decision to locate a new store in Tulsa is part of an expansion of its footprint in Oklahoma and north Texas.

“Clearly, there’s a need for WinCo Foods in Tulsa because we offer incredibly low prices and a really good shopping experience,” a spokesman said Thursday in a telephone interview. “The people of Oklahoma, as we’ve seen so far in the stores that we’re about to open, people are incredibly hungry for it and very, very receptive. That’s incredibly encouraging to us.”

WinCo Foods, a 24-hour store whose corporate headquarters are in Boise, Idaho, this month signed a lease with Crossing Oaks Shopping Center owner Crossing Oaks Investment LLC, for a seven-acre parcel at 7136 S. Memorial Drive, Tulsa County Clerk records indicate.

The roughly 85,000-square-foot store in Tulsa is scheduled to employ about 180 full- and part-time workers and could open sometime in 2018, the spokesman said. It will join WinCo facilities in Moore (set to open in May), Midwest City (August) and Oklahoma City (September), the company representative said.

Although WinCo is new to Tulsa, one company executive has ties to the city. Rich Charrier, executive vice president and chief operating officer, grew up in Tulsa and graduated from Memorial High School in the 1970s.

The chain has scheduled a grand opening for its $135 million distribution center in Denton, Texas, in late February. The Lone Star State has nine WinCo stores of the more than 100 company locations nationwide.

“It’s about our commitment to the area,” the WinCo rep said. “What that allows us to do is cut out the middleman. We’re able to deal directly with producers and vendors. We can buy in huge quantities because of the size of our warehouse. Then we can pass the savings on to the customers based on that.” 

WinCo, which doesn’t accept credit cards and has no baggers, positions itself as a “low-price leader” that provides a “world-class customer experience,” the spokesman said. It also operates on an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, meaning employees are partial owners of the company.

“That’s a very big part of our perception of ourselves,” he said. “We want this experience to be good because we work for ourselves.”

WinCo is part of the redevelopment planned at Crossing Oaks Shopping Center, which counts Sunshine Furniture and Ross Dress for Less among its biggest retailers.