BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Traditionally focused on its upscale grocery offerings, Quality Food Centers here is installing expanded health and beauty care departments of varying sizes in all its new and remodeled stores, company officials told SN.
A remodeled QFC at 10116 N.E. 8th St. here, which reopened Dec. 2, features an HBC section that, at 153 linear feet, is about two and a half times the size of its predecessor, officials said.
HBC categories with a stronger emphasis in the remodeled 8th Street store include bath products, hair care and vitamins, officials said. QFC is using circular ads to alert consumers to the broader HBC selection.
In recent years QFC has expanded rapidly in its core operating area of Seattle, where it is now No. 2 in market share, after Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway.
Mike Huse, QFC president, has said the chain, purchased last year by Portland, Ore.-based Fred Meyer Inc., which in turn is merging with Kroger Co., Cincinnati, will continue to expand in Seattle and into new markets elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Last spring QFC opened its first two stores in Portland, where it plans to open 10 to 15 more in the next few years. Last month the retailer opened its first store in Vancouver, Wash.
QFC is also installing pharmacies in new and remodeled stores that are large enough to accommodate them and are located a suitable distance from competing pharmacies, officials said.
A remodeled QFC in Issaquah, Wash., that reopened last month now has a 500-square-foot pharmacy situated between the wine and seafood departments, in the back.