IDAHO FALLS – Amid rising inflation and grocery prices, eastern Idahoans now have a permanent place to bargain shop.
Grocery Outlet Bargain Market opened with a packed crowd Thursday morning at 2455 East 25th Street in the old Porter’s building.
The Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed the business to the community with a ribbon-cutting in front of the store at noon Thursday.
“What a blessing this store will be to our community … as families stretch their budget (in this economy),” Chamber President and CEO Chip Schwarze said to those in attendance. “When I pulled into the parking lot today, I was thrilled to see how full it was.”
Grocery Outlet offers a variety of items for customers that are priced 40% to 70% less than similar items at other stores. Many of the items are comparable to what you’d find at any grocery store, including produce, meat and deli items, dairy and frozen foods.
There’s a special section inside the store called NOSH — Natural Organic Specialty Healthy Foods — and it also offers a Hispanic section, general merchandise, health and beauty products, seasonal items, along with wine and beer.
“It’s what you call bargain bliss, the wow factor,” Independent owner-operator Douglas Everett said during the ribbon-cutting. “We’re constantly buying new things, changing it up for you so it will be real fun (to shop here).”
Stacy Butcher, the chamber’s programs and events coordinator was also in attendance. She said the store is a “welcome resource to the community” during this time of high inflation and rising prices.
Idaho Falls City Councilman John Radford expressed similar thoughts.
“This is a great opportunity for our community and for this corner to have an empty spot is not something we like to see. So we’re grateful that (Grocery Outlet) is here,” Radford said. “It’s a good time to have a grocer who is going to help us with the cost of goods.”
Everett told EastIdahoNews.com in June that the company purchases all its products from wholesalers and warehouses, which allows them to “pass their savings on to their customers.”
Grocery Outlet was founded on the West Coast in 1946 by Jim Read, according to the company’s website. It was originally called Canned Foods, where he sold “military surplus at deep discount prices.”
The company has morphed and evolved over the years and there are now 400 stores nationwide, all of which are independently owned and operated. The Idaho Falls store is the Gem State’s 11th location and the second one in eastern Idaho.
Grocery Outlet is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.