Friday, December 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Grocery Outlet coming soon

Bob Thompson, an aspiring operating trainee, rearranges the shelves Monday at the soon-to-open Grocery Outlet store in Davis. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
March 14, 2011 |

A new Grocery Outlet store — located in half of what was once an Albertsons store in the Davis Manor Shopping Center — will open next week. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Wednesday, March 23, followed by a “soft opening” on Thursday, March 24, and an official grand opening on Saturday, April 2.

Many of the shelves are already stocked with canned goods and dry goods, and new coolers are standing ready to receive milk, eggs, meat and produce as the store’s opening day approaches.

An artist was in the store on Monday, putting the finishing touches on wall murals. New flooring, fresh paint and new checkout stands — five of them, plus one temporary checkout stand to handle crowds during the store’s opening weeks — have spruced up the building, which dates from the 1950s.

Co-owners Eric and Shannon Flick are new to Davis, but they’ve been living in Yolo County for a decade, and operating a Grocery Outlet store in West Sacramento for nearly 10 years. Their new store in Davis will carry a little bit of everything, Eric Flick said.

Customers can expect a selection of baked goods, including bread, some loaf cakes, doughnut holes, bear claws and other treats. The meat department, while not large, will offer ground beef and ground turkey, as well as cuts of pork, chicken and beef.

The beer and wine section will carry “several outstanding bottles of wine in the $4 to $6 range, which would ordinarily sell for much more at other stores,” Flick said.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as salad makings, also will be sold.

In addition to several aisles of edible items, there’s a health and beauty aisle with shampoo, bars of soap and vitamins, as well as an aisle stocked with a basic selection of pots and pans, coffee makers and other kitchen items.

And there’s a seasonal aisle, which on opening day will feature squirt guns and other summer items, in anticipation of warmer weather.

Shannon Flick mentioned that the store will carry a number of organic and/or natural foods, both in the fresh produce section and in the canned or dry goods sections. And Davis being Davis, a new bicycle rack is being installed outside.

The business model for Grocery Outlet targets value-oriented shoppers, otherwise known as bargain hunters. The headquarters for the chain, which has more than 150 stores, is in Berkeley, but the stores are independently owned and operated.

A Grocery Outlet store sometimes looks and feels a little like a big warehouse-style store — but on a much smaller scale, with the opportunity to buy single items, like one can of tomato sauce rather than a packaged pack of cans, or one huge can.

“We purchase directly from name-brand manufacturers — we often purchase package changes, or manufacturer overruns, and we get them at a discount, and then pass the savings on to consumers,” Eric Flick said. “We also purchase seasonal items that are nearing the end of their season, and sell them at a reduced price.”

Flick said his half of the grocery store on East Eighth Street — the Dollar Tree moved into the other half some years back — has one particular characteristic that drew his interest.

“The thing that appeals to us about this location is that we will be surrounded by residential rooftops,” he said. “We have families with kids in single-family homes, seniors in mobile homes, university students living in apartments, and other kinds of households …  all around us. These are people who need to shop, and can walk or bike to our store. And these days, stretching your dollar is important to people in all walks of life.”

Flick said several regular customers at his West Sacramento Grocery Outlet have been Davis residents, which made Flick think a new Grocery Outlet store in Davis could do well.

At 12,000 square feet, the new store is much smaller than most of its competitors — the two 40,000-square-foot Safeway stores, Nugget Market on East Covell and SaveMart; and the 25,000-square-foot Nugget Market in South Davis and the Davis Food Co-op.

It is roughly comparable in size to Trader Joe’s in University Mall or Westlake Market in West Davis, as well as the 13,000 square feet devoted to groceries inside the 130,000-square-foot Target store in Davis.

But unlike Trader Joe’s, which carries a carefully selected, relatively constant assortment of foods, the offerings at Grocery Outlet will be ever-changing, as new lots of goods arrive in the store, replacing other items that have sold out.

Eric Flick said he expects that fresh and perishable items — produce, meat, deli, dairy and baked goods — will account for 30 to 40 percent of the new store’s sales.

The new store will be staffed by about 35 locally hired employees, some full time, others part time, including a few students from nearby Da Vinci High School.

The store’s grand opening on April 2, starting at 8 a.m., will include hot dog and drink sales benefiting the Yolo County Children’s Alliance.

“Giving back to the community and partnering with community groups is important to us,” Eric Flick said.

The grand opening also will feature face-painting and balloon-twisting booths, as well as games and other activities with prizes, including reusable “Frugal Friendly” shopping bags and Grocery Outlet gift cards.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8055. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

Join the fun

What: Grocery Outlet official grand opening, featuring hot dog and drink sales to benefit the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, face-painting and balloon-twisting booths and games with prizes

When: Saturday, April 2, starting at 8 a.m.

Where: Grocery Outlet in the Davis Manor Shopping Center on East Eighth Street

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