County’s fourth WinCo opens today

94,000-square-foot store on former golf course site

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter



At 9 a.m. today, WinCo Foods will open its fourth Clark County store, situated for convenience to north county shoppers.

Built at Northeast 119th Street and 117th Avenue, the 94,000-square-foot store will eventually anchor a 10-building complex of stores and restaurants on the former site of Bowyer’s Par 3 golf course. The $40-million project is being developed by Vancouver-based Killian Pacific, which has developed several local retail projects, including the Fred Meyer-anchored Grand Central complex off state Highway 14 and Grand Boulevard in Vancouver.

Winco Foods

What: A new, 94,000-square-foot grocery store in Brush Prairie on site of former Bowyer’s Par 3 golf course.

Where: 11310 N.E. 119th St.

Employees: 100.

What’s next: Boise, Idaho-based WinCo is expected to open seven new stores this year, including one in Sumner, east of Tacoma.

WinCo’s other county stores are in Hazel Dell on Highway 99, and in Vancouver on Northeast 136th Avenue and at 2101 N.E. Andresen Road.

Boise-based WinCo deliberately chooses store locations that are visible to a broad base of consumers, said Michael Read, a company spokesman.

The new store is no exception, sited along 117th, which is state Highway 503 and a major route for commuters making the daily trek from Portland and Vancouver north to residential areas in Hockinson, Battle Ground, La Center and Woodland.

“We try to look for a location that has a high traffic count, good visibility and is a reasonable distance to a significant population base,” Read said.

His company also looks at the strength of competing grocery stores in the area, Read said.

All of the major grocery chains operate nearby, including Fred Meyer and Safeway, with stores in Battle Ground and at Northeast 78th and 117th; and Albertson’s, with a store in Battle Ground and a store off the Padden at Northeast 137th Avenue.

Approximately 100 employees were hired to staff the new WinCo store.

WinCo’s discount pricing and bag-your-own-groceries strategy has helped the employee-owned company weather the 1½-year-long economic recession, although sales were off in 2009, Read said.

“The dollar value of the average basket has declined a bit,” he said.

Nevertheless, the company plans to continue growing steadily and expects to open seven new stores this year. The WinCo chain operates in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California and Utah.