WinCo Opens in San Marcos

Idaho-based discount grocery chain WinCo opened a new store in San Marcos Thursday.

The San Marcos location, at 555 Grand Avenue, is the first WinCo in the San Diego area. The chain has a number of stores throughout California.

WinCo is an employee owned company with 104 stores scattered across the Western part of the US.

The large stores offer deep discounts, bulk items and huge variety - all without frills. There's no music, baggers, carpeting, membership cards and credit cards aren't accepted.

"It's got a feel of a Costco and maybe even a Food 4 Less cause of the styling of the store, but it has just amazing energy," said one shopper on the San Marcos locations' opening day.

The store plans to hire 165 new employees for the new store.

"I think we're kind of a hybrid between a conventional store and a big box store," said Rudy Morfin of WinCo Foods. "We feel there's a good opportunity for us, and I think the San Marcos area - or San Diego area - is actually a really good fit for us."

"Especially in a working class neighborhood it's going to impact a Ralphs, a Vons, an Albertsons, definitely," Miro Copic SDSU professor of marketing told NBC7.

Fresh & Easy, a Southern California chain, announced on Wednesday it will be closing all of its stores, including eight in San Diego.

Just last month Haggen, another northwest-based grocer announced it would be closing all its California stores, including 19 in San Diego, after moving into the region earlier this year.

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