WinCo Foods, Inc. is a privately held, majority employee-owned[5][6][7] American supermarket chain based in Boise, Idaho, with retail stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas,[8] Utah, and Washington. It was founded in 1967 as a no-frills warehouse-style store with low prices. The stores feature extensive bulk food sections.

WinCo Foods, Inc.
FormerlyWaremart Food Centers (1967–1999)
TypePrivate, employee-owned
Founded1967 (55 years ago) (1967)
FoundersRalph Ward and Bud Williams
HeadquartersBoise, Idaho, U.S.
Number of locations
Area served
Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington
Key people
Gary Piva, Chairman
Grant Haag, President/CEO
Richard Charrier, COO
David Butler, CFO
ProductsBakery, grocery, produce, delicatessen, seafood, bulk foods, snacks, health and beauty products, general merchandise [2]
RevenueUS$8.2 billion (2021)[3]
Number of employees
20,000 [4]

Until 1999, it operated as Waremart Food Centers and Cub Foods (under a franchise agreement). However, WinCo began reestablishing Waremart Foods in 2017. As of 2022, WinCo has 138 retail stores and six distribution centers, with over 20,000 employees.[1][9][10] As of May 2022, WinCo Foods was No. 46 in's list of the largest privately owned companies in the United States.


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 operates distribution centers in:[1]

The company reduces operating expenses by purchasing directly from manufacturers and farmers; operating basic, no-frills stores; bagging service is not provided.[11] In addition the company does not accept credit cards for payment (debit and WIC/EBT cards are accepted).[12]


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 as a no-frills, warehouse-style grocery store focusing on low prices.[7][13] 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.[7][13]

In January 1991, Waremart opened an 82,000 square-foot store in Boise to replace the two older Boise stores.[14] At the time, Waremart was operating 16 stores in the Northwest and had reported annual sales of more than $300 million.[14]

WinCo FoodsEdit

In 1999, Waremart changed its name to "WinCo Foods". It is a portmanteau of Winning Company, but the company says the name also refers to the five states in which the company operated stores at the time (Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, and Oregon).[15][non-primary source needed] Nonetheless, three Oregon stores—those in Independence, Keizer, and Ontario—are still branded as "Waremart by WinCo".

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.[16]

In early 2009, WinCo opened its first two stores in the Spokane, Washington, area.[17] In October, 2009, WinCo expanded to Utah, adding two stores in West Valley City and Midvale.[13][18][19] An additional Utah store opened in Roy on June 28, 2010.[20][21] bringing the total number of stores expanded to Utah to five.[22] WinCo previously operated stores in Utah under the Waremart banner prior to the company's name change.[13][23]

In January 2011, WinCo began signing leases for an expansion to Southern Nevada and Arizona.[24] The chain opened stores in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada on March 4, 2012.[25] The company's first two stores in Arizona opened on April 1, 2012 in the Phoenix area.[26] The company has opened multiple locations in Texas, including the Dallas–Fort Worth area.[1][27][28]

WinCo was named as the sponsor for the WinCo Foods Portland Open in June, 2013.[29]

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.[30] In March 2017, WinCo opened its 114th store in Moses Lake, Washington.[31]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "WinCo Corporate Site". Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "WinCo Careers – Join our Winning Team at WinCo Foods".
  3. ^ "WinCo Foods". Forbes. 2019.
  4. ^ "WinCo Foods".
  5. ^ Zwiebach, Elliot (June 24, 2013). "WinCo's Employee-Owners Speak Out". Supermarket News.
  6. ^ "WinCo Foods LLC Company Profile". Hoovers. Dun & Bradstreet. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "WinCo Foods". March 7, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2013. Eighty percent of the company is employee owned.
  8. ^ Zwiebach, Elliot (January 31, 2014). "WinCo sets first two Texas openings". Supermarket News.
  9. ^ Zwiebach, Elliot (June 24, 2013). "WinCo Goes for the Win". Supermarket News.
  10. ^ "Variety & Seasonal - WinCo Foods". Archived from the original on March 18, 2011.
  11. ^ Tuttle, Brad (August 7, 2013). "Meet the Low-Key, Low-Cost Grocery Chain Being Called 'Walmart's Worst Nightmare' ". Time. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  12. ^ "FAQs". WinCo Foods. August 14, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d "History". WinCo Foods. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Idaho's largest supermarket set to open Monday at Boise". Lewiston Morning Tribune. January 27, 1991.
  15. ^ FAQs at
  16. ^ "Hidden Billionaire Found With Food Fortune in California". Bloomberg. August 2013. Retrieved September 22, 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.
  17. ^ Zwiebach, Elliot (February 10, 2009). "WinCo Makes Spokane Debut, Eyes Utah". Supermarket News.
  18. ^ "Winco Foods Building Utah Sites". Supermarket News. May 19, 2009.
  19. ^ "New WinCo DC Facilitates Utah Growth". Supermarket News. September 23, 2009.
  20. ^ "WinCo foods announces grand opening of new store in Roy, Utah". 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  21. ^ "Idaho grocery store chain coming to Utah". May 15, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  22. ^ "WinCo opening five new stores in Utah". The Daily Herald. 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  23. ^ "WinCo Eyes Eastward Expansion". August 8, 2011. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. 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.
  24. ^ "WinCo grocery chain plans Arizona expansion". East Valley Tribune. January 23, 2011.
  25. ^ "Attention shoppers: WinCo Foods opens 2 stores in Southern Nevada". Las Vegas Sun. March 5, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
  26. ^ "WinCo to open new grocery stores in Phoenix". Phoenix Business Journal. March 2, 2012.
  27. ^ Trainor, Gene (July 5, 2013). "WinCo picks site in North Richland Hills for supermarket". Star-Telegram. Retrieved July 7, 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.
  28. ^ Halkias, Maria (August 1, 2013). "North Carolina grocer to open Dallas stores in Turtle Creek Village and near the Arboretum". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  29. ^ " Tour heading to Portland in 2014 for Regular-Season finale". PGA Tour. June 15, 2013.
  30. ^ Bailey, Brianna (October 30, 2014). "Idaho-based grocer plans Midwest City store". Midwest City, Oklahoma: The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  31. ^ "Moses Lake WinCo opens Thursday to lines of shoppers". iFIBER One News. Retrieved May 13, 2017.

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