WinCo Foods All You Need To Know

By Altay Gursel | October 8, 2020

Essential information to know about WinCo Foods

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Winco Foods Store

Company Background

Winco with its original full name “Winning Company” a privately held American supermarket chain founded in 1967. 

Did you know its name refers to five states (Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, and Oregon)? 

That is right, these are the states WinCo actively serves in.

Until 1999, the company operated under the name of Waremart Food Centers, and Cub Foods. The company began reestablishing Waremart Foods in 2017. It currently employs 20,000 employees and owns 128 retail stores, and six distribution centers.

WinCo is based in Boise, Idaho. However, it has distribution centers in the following locations:

  • Woodburn, Oregon; 
  • Myrtle Creek, Oregon; 
  • Boise, Idaho; Phoenix, 
  • Arizona; Denton, Texas; 
  • Modesto, California.

If you want to find the closest WinCo store to your current location you can visit: https://www.wincofoods.com/stores and pinpoint the WinCo store that is in the closest proximity to your location.

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Does WinCo have grocery delivery?

Yes, you can order your groceries from WinCo by placing your orders on https://www.wincofoods.com/order-online page. However, online ordering may not be available from each store. You should check on the page for the full details and select stores that deliver orders.

Interested in WinCo gift cards?

You can order a gift card or reload your existing gift card from the company website.

What about discount coupons?

There are also discount coupons you can access from the WinCo website to benefit from extra savings from already very affordable prices of the WinCo.

What are the product categories you can buy at WinCo?

Product categories as it is listed on the WinCo website are

  • Bulk foods,
  • meat,
  • produce,
  • meat,
  • deli,
  • seafood,
  • variety & seasonal,
  • bakery,
  • WinCo foods brand,
  • WinCo foods pizza.

Why are the prices at WinCo is better than most other stores?

WinCo purchases its products directly from the manufacturers and farmers. This process eliminates any middle man in between that would otherwise inflateWinCo’s pricing.

WinCo is more affordable than many other grocery stores. The reason for that is very simple.

WinCo operates very basic and it has no-frills stores.

Also, WinCo does not accept credit card payments. This is a particular advantage of WinCo shoppers since WinCo doesn’t need to add any credit card process-related fees to its product pricing. Hence, customers shop for a more affordable price at WinCo than the other stores.

All accounted factors combined, WinCo can provide far better pricing its customers than they can hardly find somewhere else.  

Shopping Experience

WinCo overall provides a cheap, fast, and friendly shopping experience. Although WinCo stores look like a warehouse it shouldn’t be taken as a poor quality shopping experience. You can rest assure WinCo provides a far better shopping experience than most retail stores in the US.

winco bulk food section

Experience you will have at WinCo Foods is kind of a blend between Costco and Fred Meyers.

When you enter the store you will notice there are only one entry and exit point. WinCo doesn’t have multiple entries like at Freddie’s. I guess this shouldn’t be a particular concern for any shopper.

Once you get into the store you will notice a tall display of groceries that will take you to the produce section. You literally need to walk in that direction because the store is set in a way that discourages you to talk towards the check stands. 

Inside the store, you may feel like you are in a warehouse rather than a supermarket. There are pallets on the rafters all around the place. At WinCo, unlike Costco, there is a limited product range and expect to find more basic stuff only.

WinCo has a clothing department, but the product selection is very limited. The company doesn’t sell electronics, and it has no pharmacy department.

What WinCo does great is offering the best prices for their clients.

prices at winco store

Winco does something called “comping” more often than most grocery stores. What they do is lowering their prices periodically to make sure their prices are lower than most other stores.

That is right, they do it even if it may mean losing the profit from certain items altogether.

However, this action earns customers’ trust and in return encourages more people to shop at WinCo Foods. Consumers remember which stores sell products for a bargain price and they visit the same stores repeatedly. 

WinCo has a bulk department like no other store. A small minus of WinCo you should bag your purchased items yourself.

The prices on most items are cheaper than Walmart, Albertsons, and Krogers! 

WinCo only takes debit cards. You cannot shop at WinCo with your credit card. Because otherwise, WinCo would need to raise its prices on everything to compensate for the credit card companies’ charges. 

Not accepting credit cards may not seem a pro-consumer action. However, it protects customers since WinCo doesn’t have to reflect any fees or hidden costs in its product pricing.

Banks charge retailers a service fee for accepting credit card payments on every card transaction. These applied charges should either be absorbed by the retailer or be reflected in the prices of the products.

Winco obviously doesn’t like this idea and it allows WinCo keeping its prices at a very fair level.

The funny thing you may not like WinCo bathrooms have stall doors and make noise when you shut them.  This is the only negative I could find out.

Is WinCo an employee owned company?

Yes, that is right. WinCo is primarily owned by former employees that benefited from the employee stock ownership plan. Former employees that acquired more and more stock ownership over time within the company gained control in the management of the company. 

According to a survey made by the ESOP Association 72% percent of respondents want to work in the companies owned by the employees.

I guess there is a simple reason for that.

People like to have the fake hope being the next owner of the company and fire everyone they don’t like.

How does WinCo Foods compare to other grocery stores?

At the very basic level, when WinCo is compared with other stores like Safeway, Fred Meyer, and Albertsons, it is more brightly-lit and looks less boutique-like. Their stores give you the impression you are in a real warehouse.

When we talk about price and value, WinCo’s prices are much better than most other stores including Safeway or Fred Meyer. Shopping at WinCo you definitely get the bang for your hard-earned buck. 

WinCo sources its most products locally. If you buy meat and produce you will definitely notice how fresher they are than the most other stores. 

Customer Service

In general customer service is pretty decent. WinCo provides all its staff “world-class customer service” training.

If you have any questions regarding your experience at WinCo you can talk to staff personnel and they will surely provide you the best help you need.

Keep in mind, asking the right question to the right person is very important to get the right answer. You cannot expect a produce clerk to be an expert about the bulk foods department.

Also, the staff is very friendly to show you where the items are located.

WinCo Recipe Ideas

Did you know WinCo has a recipe section on their website that is showing how to cook different meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner ideas) using different preparation techniques (Microwave, No Cook, Saute, Simmer, etc) for different occasions (Christmas, Cinco De Mayo, Easter, etc.)? If you want to learn more you can visit: https://www.wincofoods.com/recipes