The owner of the new Grocery Outlet store that is set to open Oct. 15 in Pullman said the store should appeal to shoppers who enjoy “the thrill of the hunt.”

The grocery store will share the former Shopko building on South Grand Avenue with Harbor Freight Tools.

“Grocery Outlet is very different than your traditional grocery store,” owner Melinda Parks said. “The way we receive our merchandise is very opportunistically. So, you’re not going to see the same products that you see day in and day out. It’s always changing.”

Grocery Outlet, she said, has an ever changing inventory of items so it is best for people to come often and stock up on those items because the store may not have them again.

“We’re always changing what we get in and it’s always best for the thrill of the hunt, I guess, to shop every aisle and see what’s new,” Parks said.

Grocery Outlet, she said, can offer products that other stores may not keep in stock, such as seasonal products that are no longer in season. She said shoppers might find Christmas-themed cereal in July, for example.

According to Grocery Outlet’s Facebook page, the store is able to sell these items at a discount. Parks said that should appeal to shoppers on the Palouse.

“There is always a need for price-conscious shoppers to be able to find those items at a price that they can afford,” she said.

Parks said the store does not sell out-of-date merchandise. She also said Grocery Outlet will consistently sell dairy and produce items. Organic items will be available as well.

On Tuesday, workers were busy unloading boxes of goods and getting the store ready for its grand opening. The sales floor is a little more than 10,000 square feet.

Parks said the COVID-19 pandemic did not delay the store’s opening and said she was able to get the permits and construction finished sooner than expected.

Parks said she has been in retail management for 15 years. She moved to Pullman with her family to start a Grocery Outlet because she was a fan of the store. Two of her teenage children will work at the store with her, she said. The store has currently hired 30 employees.

Parks said she hopes Grocery Outlet can work with local nonprofits such as the Community Action Center to donate food. She said Grocery Outlet stores typically host a food drive every year in July.

There will be a ribbon cutting with the Pullman Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 14 at the store on 1450 S. Grand Ave.

Anthony Kuipers can be reached at

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