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 (1967–1998)
Company typePrivate, employee-owned
Founded1967 (57 years ago) (1967)
FoundersRalph Ward and Bud Williams
HeadquartersBoise, Idaho, U.S.
Number of locations
Area served
10 U.S. states
Key people
Gary Piva, Chairman
Grant Haag, President/CEO
Nathan Tucker, COO
Isaac Kimball, 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 1998, it operated as Waremart and Cub Foods, the latter under a franchise agreement. However, WinCo began re-establishing 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 the following locations:[1]

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


From 1967 to 1998, WinCo operated as Waremart.

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 (7,600-square-meter) 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 Foods

Store in the Orenco area of Hillsboro, Oregon

In October 1998, Waremart changed its name to WinCo Foods, citing confusion with retailers Kmart and Walmart as reason for the new name.[15] The name is a portmanteau of "winning company".[15] Nonetheless, three Oregon stores — those in Independence, Keizer, and Ontario — are 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 opened multiple locations in Texas, primarily in the Dallas–Fort Worth area, beginning in 2014 after it completed a distribution center in the area.[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.[30]

In May 2018, Grant Haag was made president and CEO of WinCo Foods.[31]

WinCo was sued in 2023 for the use of excessive force on multiple occasions in the handling of shoplifters.[32] Winco also faced significant criticism in the treatment of a teenage girl accused of shoplifting at their Vancouver, Washington store in 2017.[33]

WinCo paid a class action settlement of $3.6 million in 2023. It was alleged that Winco stores in Portland, Oregon charged a hidden clean energy surcharge on non-grocery items.[34]

See also



  1. ^ a b c "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". Forbes.
  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. ^ a b Loew, Tracy (September 22, 1998). "Waremart Inc. hopes new name is a winner". Idaho Statesman. p. 1D.
  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. ^ Mize, Richard; Bailey, Brianna (August 9, 2014). "Idaho grocery chain may bring multiple stores to Oklahoma City metro area". The Oklahoman. Retrieved June 26, 2024.
  28. ^ 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.
  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. ^ Redman, Russell (May 1, 2018). "WinCo Foods tabs Grant Haag as its next CEO". Supermarket News. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
  32. ^ "Accused shoplifters sue Winco Foods, claim security employees used excessive force". April 29, 2023. Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  33. ^ "Video of teen dragged by security officer after allegedly shoplifting candy draws criticism". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ISSN 1539-7459. Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  34. ^ "WinCo to pay $3.6M for clean energy fund charges, report says". Retrieved January 29, 2024.