From The World (Coos Bay, OR):
Outlet Store Sees Bump in Customers
By Jessica Musicar, Staff Writer
Escalating food prices have translated into more people pushing carts through the doors at the Coos Bay Grocery Outlet in Empire. The store sells nonperishable close-out items, as well as some fresh dairy and meat. Owner Pat Backman said the bump in traffic typically occurs whenever the economy is depressed.
“We are seeing new faces and we’re seeing some old faces we haven’t seen in awhile,” Backman said in the office of her “no frills” store at 1385 Newmark Ave. “A lot of them are visiting more frequently, too, making sure they don’t miss out on something they really want.”
Customer Paula Hardman, who shopped recently at the outlet, said she buys staples at the store for her family of 12.
“They usually have pretty good deals…and I like the vitamins. They are a whole lot cheaper than the other stores.” The 44-year-old Coos Bay resident said she comes to the store about once a week to buy berries, cereal and canned goods. “I wish there was another one in Coos Bay so I didn’t have to drive so far,” Hardman said.
Backman said the store has experienced a 10.5-percent increase in sales over 2007, and has added an additional truck—which carries 26 pallets of food—each month.
“People are all looking to save money,” she said. “It’s hard to make those ends meet, sometimes, you know?”