When it comes to grocery shopping, Cheney residents will soon have another option.
Cheney’s newest store, Grocery Outlet, will open this Thursday. The store is located near the corner of East Betz Road and Highway 904, next to the Verizon store.
Grocery Outlet is a chain of grocery stores that operates primarily on the west coast and specializes in discounted items. Before this store, the closest Grocery Outlet to EWU was approximately 20 minutes away in Airway Heights.
Duran Slater owns and operates the Cheney store with his wife, Cassie. Slater said that the thing that sets Grocery Outlet apart from the competition is that Grocery Outlet is constantly looking for the next discount. Slater said that everything in the store is sold at a discounted price compared to other stores.
“Grocery outlet scours the globe and buys opportunistically,” Slater said.
Slater said that despite the store being across the street from Safeway, he does not see this as a problem. Slater said that people who shop at Grocery Outlet typically have to shop at another store as well.
“We’re rarely anyones only place to shop. Shop us first.” -Duran Slater
For example, Slater said that while Safeway may have ten types of ketchup, Grocery Outlet may only have two. But he said that those two are “both going to be great value.”
Slater said that 40% of the items in the store will stay the same. These are items such as such as eggs, milk, produce and meat, items Slater calls “the staples.”
But he said the other 60% of the store is “constantly changing.” And that 60% is what sets them apart, Slater said.
“That’s Grocery Outlet’s secret sauce,” he said.
Slater said that the reason Grocery Outlet can sell their products at such a low price is due to this change.
He said that while at other stores there is layer after layer of approval needed to sell a product, Grocery Outlet can get a product on the shelves in less than a week.
“Grocery outlet can buy a really good deal,” he said.
Slater said that with a constantly changing inventory, when shopping at Grocery Outlet if you see a product you want, it may not be there the next time you shop.
“When you see an item you really like, buy it,” he said.
Slater said that the store is locally owned and operated, and that he thinks it has a family atmosphere.
“We definitely want to be part of the community,” he said. “For us, a big thing is customer service.”
Slater said that an example of their customer service is that the store does not have a self checkout option.
Slater said that the things that seperate Grocery Outlet from its competitors quality food at a good price.
Slater said that one thing that will appeal to college students is Grocery Outlet’s selection of “NOSH” products. NOSH is an acronym that stands for natural, organic, specialty and healthy.
“We have a big assortment of foods that fall under that category,” he said.
Products such as frozen meals, frozen vegetables and dairy-free ice cream fall under this NOSH section, and Slater said that NOSH is typically something people who haven’t visited Grocery Outlet before don’t expect.
“We don’t just sell discount products,” he said.
Slater said that Grocery Outlet offers people “a lot of specialty foods at a great value.”
Slater said that the store just obtained its liquor license and will sell beer and wine, as well as hard alcohol.
“Some of our best values are in wine,” he said. “We have a lot of great wine.”
If you shop at Grocery Outlet, you may see name brand products next to products you have never heard of before, and Slater said there is a reason for that.
“We sell a lot of products that may sell in a different market,” he said.
So while you will see familiar brands such as Lays, there will also be brands you haven’t seen before.
Slater said that shopping at Grocery Outlet isn’t like shopping at any other store, it’s an experience.
“One of the fun things about grocery outlet is it’s a treasure hunt,” he said.
And with this treasure hunt, there’s always something new to find.
“You never know what you’ll find walking down the isles,” Slater said. “It’s a fun place to shop.”
The doors to the new Grocery Outlet will officially open for business on Thursday at 9 a.m., and there will be prizes and activities at the grand opening.