Yelm’s QFC employees were told Friday morning that the last day of operation of their store is October 27, 2007.
This is a sad day for Yelm and clearly the previously predicted Wal-Mart Effect arriving here.
WILL YOU STOP BY AND WISH THESE FINE FOLKS WELL?
According to my conversation with store personnel, employees have not been told if they will be retained by Kroger and transferred to other area QFC stores, as opposed to permanent layoff.
I WILL MISS THEM AS I PURCHASED TURKEYS FROM THEM EVERY THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS FOR LOCAL FOOD DRIVES.
This location has been one of Yelm’s major groceries during the 20 years I have been here:
from the current location’s predecessor Thriftway (housed in the Sunbird’s building next door), to Stock Market to QFC owned by Fred Meyer, to the current QFC owned by Kroger.
I must add that this is not totally a surprise, as Kroger threw in the towel long ago on this store, evidenced by the lack of competitive marketing and promotions, higher grocery item pricing, and closing the on-site bakery, seafood counter, video and customer service sections. The Wal-Mart Effect was the “nail in the coffin” for this business, no doubt. This is now a huge hole in this shopping center, as there is reportedly 2 years left on the lease, which means a vacancy for at least that long. The traffic drop from the loss of QFC customers will certainly affect other businesses in the Nisqually Plaza.
Is this the first of other Yelm stalwart businesses that will close because the Wal-Mart Effect did them in?
Can Wal-Mart’s employee wage scale and large use of part-timers replace these full time Yelm jobs at Kroger?
WHAT SAY YOU?
This story was first published on this blog at 3:51pm on Friday, September 28, 2007.
This story’s coverage in The Olympian on Oct. 1, 2007.
[Ed. Note: The Olympian states, “Since it opened 10 years ago, Safeway and Wal-Mart, which opened a Yelm Supercenter in July, have brought competition to Quality Food Centers’ store…. ”
Safeway opened in Yelm 8 years ago in 1999 and QFC managed all of this time against that competitor directly across the street. Closing 3 months later than Wal-Mart opening earlier this Summer, let’s put the timelines into perspective.]