It was like the calm before the storm Tuesday at the newest Grocery Outlet in Roseburg, only the calm included $3.99 bottles of wine, $5.99 New York steaks, and $2.99 bags of potatoes out front, where work crews were hastily laying down gravel to finish the landscaping.
There were the wall signs well-known to Grocery Outlet regulars: “More kale for less cabbage,” More cheese for less cheddar,” “Are we local? You bet your biscuits we are.”
There was the steady stream of 1980s rock hits piped in through the sound system, including Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.”
All things considered, owners Stephen and Kelly Burton said they were happy with the “soft opening” at the store in the Garden Valley Shopping Center, which was intended to serve as a tune-up for Thursday’s official grand opening. About 1,000 customers came through the doors Tuesday, which is about half the number the couple expect to come Thursday, when there will be raffles, door prizes and other giveaways.
“Everything’s worked out pretty well so far,” Stephen Burton said Tuesday afternoon.
There were a few hiccups. Burton said he arrived at the store in the morning only to realize there were no places to hold the shopping carts; he quickly built them.
In fact, the entire process of moving has been a bit of a learning curve, the Burtons said. They had owned the Grocery Outlet store at 930 W. Harvard Ave. since the fall of 2020. The building they are now in was a JCPenney store that closed in October 2020 after being in business at the same location for more than 30 years.
The former JCPenney, at about 34,000 square feet, gives the Burtons a much bigger space for their Grocery Outlet — about 3,000 square feet of extra sales space and even more storage space.
They are using the extra sales space to stock more of their best-selling items, such as meats.
“Our meat sales this year have been fantastic,” Stephen Burton said. With that in mind, the new store has 50% more space for meats, he said.
There is still work to be done, including increasing the section for health foods, known as the NOSH section — Natural, Organic, Specialty, Healthy. There are also plans to build a display for specialty cheeses that will go in the section where wine is sold.
Grocery Outlet is known for its loyal customers, and some couldn’t wait for the new store to open, Kelly Burton said.
“For the last few days people have been trying to get in and shop here,” she said.
Diana Johnson, who considers herself one of those loyal customers, was getting to know the new store Tuesday.
Johnson lives in Winston and has shopped at the Grocery Outlet there and the one on West Harvard Avenue “for years and years,” she said. In fact, she was at the Harvard Avenue store last week to get some deals before the doors finally closed.
She is impressed by the size of the new store, the wide aisles and volume of products offered. She liked what she saw and expects to be back again and again, she said.
“As long as the prices don’t go up, everything will be fine.”
It's almost like the old Drive-n-Save is back....nice!!!
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