WinCo, a Western grocery chain with about 100 stores, has a business model that allows for cheaper prices than Wal-Mart, writes Brad Tuttle at Time.
WinCo keeps costs low by buying directly from suppliers and eliminating middlemen, according to Tuttle. It also doesn't accept credit cards and has customers bag their own groceries.
A recent Idaho Statesman article about WinCo quoted retail analyst Burt Flickinger III as saying that WinCo was "unstoppable."
“They’re Wal-Mart’s worst nightmare,” Flickinger said.
Much like Costco, WinCo offers a minimalist selection instead of a wide array of brands according to Time.
For instance, WinCo might only carry two brands of toothpaste, while Wal-Mart has more than 40.
Unlike Wal-Mart, whose employees have demanded better wages, the company provides health benefits to employees who work 24 hours per week and a pension.
WinCo is expanding fast, and could convert Wal-Mart's customers, according to Time.
"Generally speaking, shoppers tolerate Walmart’s empty shelves and subpar customer service because the prices are so good," Tuttle writes. "The fact that another retailer—even a small regional one—is able to compete and sometimes beat Walmart on prices, while also operating well-organized stores staffed by workers who enjoy their jobs, like their employer, and genuinely want the company to be successful."
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