WinCo Foods was previously known as Waremart Foods. It changed its storefront name and the corporate name in 1999. “WinCo” stands for “Winning Company,” as is stated by the website, Eighty percent of the company is employee owned.

About WinCo

The beginning of WinCo Foods occurs back to 1967, when Bud Williams and Ralph Ward started a discount-grocery warehouse in Boise, Idaho. They named their store Waremart, and the name stayed the same until 1999. In 1985, the president at the time, Bill Long, purchased a majority interest of WinCo from the Ward family and gave it to the employees so that they had some real stake in the company. Ever since, the company has continued to grow.

The company has fostered their success, it claims, by focusing on very large stores with a wide selection of national brands, but keeping their prices below the competition’s. Employees are said to have seen their employee stock ownership plan grow at an annual compounded growth rate of 21.51%. This makes for an extremely dedicated workforce. In 1998, WinCo was listed as the 266th on Forbes Magazine’s List of the 500 largest privately held companies, and in 2010 it was listed as the 65th on the list. They are considered 29th out of the 50 top grocery retailers, with a 0.6% share of the market.


Annual Sales: By the end of the fiscal year 2010, the company reached $4.3 billion in total sales.

Employees: WinCo currently has 13,000 employees and is continuing to grow.

Store Locations: Currently there are 75 WinCo Supermarkets located in five states. These are:

  • California
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Idaho
  • Washington

Corporate Responsibility

WinCo Foods is committed to making the shopping experience greener. For example, they do not put an ad in the paper each week, which also helps save money for their customers. Their newer locations also have skylights to help save electricity. They are currently researching solar power technologies and other ways to reducing their carbon footprint. Other things that they are doing/considering are:

  • Implementing energy efficient refrigeration and freezer equipment in their new stores and updating their old stores
  • Using light systems with motion sensors so that the lights are only used when needed in certain areas
  • Using LED lights wherever possible

Responsible fuel consumption also is a focus of this company. They try to conserve fuel in the best way possible by using a transportation team to plan each trip, using the best route, and a maintenance team to ensure that each truck is kept in top shape. They also use state-of-the-art equipment to make the most out of every gallon of fuel.

Aside from being green, WinCo Foods contributes to the community through its donations. For example, it donates to fundraisers for state-accredited schools nearby WinCo locations. This can be for the entire school or just a group related to the school. You can get information about how to apply for a donation by visiting their website: