Discount Grocery Chain WinCo Touted As ‘Wal-Mart’s Worst Nightmare’ with a business model that allows for cheaper prices

A Discount Grocery Chain Is Being Touted As ‘Wal-Mart’s Worst Nightmare’

ASHLEY LUTZ AUG. 8, 2013, 5:32 PM 5,562 30

A discount grocery chain is being called “Wal-Mart’s worst nightmare.” 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.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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