- Grocery Outlet is an "extreme value" retail grocery chain headed toward an IPO.
- We took a tour of a Grocery Outlet in downtown Los Angeles to see what the shopping experience is like.
- Prices are impressively low, but the store offers a modest selection of products in each category, and it lacks amenities like an in-store bakery or butcher.
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A $2 billion supermarket chain you’ve probably never heard of is about to go public.
Grocery Outlet isn’t a name that will be familiar to most people, yet the chain operates more than 300 stores in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. The company is hoping to leverage its profitable, growth-oriented trajectory into a $100 million IPO, it said in a filing with the SEC this month.
The store’s "extreme value" model has led some to call Grocery Outlet "the TJMaxx of grocery stores." The chain has posted 15 straight years of sales growth, according to CNN, and the company boasts that 1.5 million shoppers walk through its doors each week. It does all that with no online sales — just a minimal web site that includes little more than a store locator, gift card sales, and a newsletter.
We were curious to see what the shopping experience at Grocery Outlet was like, so we took a trip to a location in downtown Los Angeles.
Here’s what it’s like inside a Grocery Outlet.
The street entrance to this Grocery Outlet was boldly branded in red and yellow with inviting graphics. Let’s go shopping.
Thanks to the architecture of this particular location, the entire store awaits you at the bottom of a large set of stairs that descend from street level. It’s bright and welcoming.
I’m not sure what they usually keep in this display, but it was empty when I arrived. However there were a lot of baskets and shopping carts on hand.
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