When word of a new Safeway being built on Snoqualmie Ridge began circulating, so did worries about that store’s impact on the Ridge’s existing grocery store, the Ridge IGA Supermarket. Those worries proved accurate last week, when IGA management announced in a Facebook post that the store would end its nine-year run as a grocery and re-open later this year as a different type of business.
“It’s pretty simple,” said Tyler Myers, President of the Myers Group which owned and the IGA. “Things were going pretty well, but then they built a new Safeway up there and a Bartell’s and now basically all three of us are selling the same things, Pampers and Campbell’s Soup and all those things.”
With many Ridge residents shopping in Issaquah or other cities, he said, there weren’t enough shoppers to support the existing businesses, Myers added, so they decided to liquidate inventory, move as many of their two dozen employees to other stores as possible, then remodel the 20,000 foot space into something new.
“Our goal would be to offer goods and services that aren’t found on the Ridge and in Snoqualmie,” Myers said. “We have some general ideas of what would be of benefit to the community…. We have some ideas from our own experience of what’s not there that’s needed.”
Focus groups with a select group of community members are also a possibility, he said.
“We started a list … of people who might have an interest in telling us what they’d like to see,” he said, several months ago, as a planning step for how the Safeway’s August opening would affect the IGA.
For now, the store is focused on selling off inventory.
“We already know that the inventory we have in that store is not the inventory that we would have in the store going forward,” he said, so they have discounted their merchandise and plan to move what doesn’t sell to one of the other area IGA stores.
No official closing date has been set yet, but Myers said “We want to wrap it up in the next two to three weeks.”
Once the management gets approval from the landlord to proceed with the remodel, Myers projected they would start immediately on the mostly-cosmetic remodel of the interior.
He guessed the remodel would take “maybe 60 days, but as soon as possible. We would be working as fast as we can once we have the green light. We really want to be in Snoqualmie. We really love the community… It’s just kind of crazy up there right now, you’ve got three Starbucks within 100 yards and three stores selling basically the same thing.”
Following is the notice that was posted on Facebook:
Dear Friends and our valued Snoqualmie Community,
We have enjoyed our relationship with the Snoqualmie community for the past nine years. It has been a fun time and we hope we added a lot of value and goodwill to the community. Unfortunately, with the arrival of Safeway, we will no longer be able to operate in this location as a full-service supermarket.
Our plans are to liquidate all of our current inventory and evaluate the opportunity to bring a different kind of business back to this location. A business that brings goods and services to Snoqualmie that is not presently being offered. We expect to know the answer to our future plans shortly.
Thank you again for your support of our store over the years. We sincerely wish you the very best. We hope to see you soon as a new and vibrant business.
Ridge IGA Supermarket