WinCo purchase of Shopko building closed Sept. 18; Rosauers mum on competition

On Wednesday, Missoula Rosauers manager Jerry Kuykendall was unable to comment about having a competitor grocery store essentially right next door. Only South Avenue and parking lots separate the two buildings. (Sterling CRE)

WinCo Foods, LLC officially completed purchase of the former Shopko building, 2510 S. Reserve St., on Sept. 18, ending months of speculation about how the big-box store would be used.

The Missoula County Property Information system posted the special deed and transaction online.

“WinCo Foods, LLC has acquired the site and plans to set up shop,” Sterling Commercial Real Estate Advisors, the Missoula firm handling the sale, posted on its Facebook page late Tuesday. 

“The popular warehouse-style grocer recently opened facilities in Billings and Helena and has had its sights set on Missoula for some time,” Sterling CRE added in a post on its website. “It now appears that they intend to set up shop right next to Rosauers. While that’s good for Missoula shoppers, Rosauers may not be as excited about the prospect.”

On Wednesday, Missoula Rosauers manager Jerry Kuykendall was unable to comment about having a competitor grocery store essentially right next door. Only South Avenue and parking lots separate the two buildings.

The Montana Department of Revenue, which maintains property records, confirmed the sale as well.

“Our records show that the property is owned by WinCo,” said Sanjay Talwani, public information officer at the Department of Revenue.

The sale price is unknown, as it remains confidential by law, Talwani said.

WinCo, with headquarters in Boise, has spread its wings to include Montana locations, but it owns 125 stores in 10 states throughout the West.

WinCo is able to keep its prices low in part because of its business model: It is employee owned and has its own distribution company. 

It’s unclear how many employees the company will hire in Missoula, which is not yet listed in the “available positions” section of the company website, www.wincofoods.com under the “careers” tab.

WinCo was unavailable to comment on the sale Wednesday.