Ferndale Cost Cutter to close; Grocery Outlet moving in

The Ferndale Cost Cutter store is closing, but a portion of the space soon will have a new grocer.

Cost Cutter owner The Markets announced that it was beginning an inventory liquidation sale at the Ferndale store on Tuesday, Nov. 25. In a news release, the company said it is working with the union to determine options for the roughly 30 employees. Final closure of the store will be sometime in early 2015.

Going into a portion of the building at 1750 Labounty Drive is Grocery Outlet, which signed a lease to occupy about 20,000 square feet of space on the west side. The other half of the building will be available for a new tenant, said Jim Anderson, one of the investors in the retail center. Anderson said building improvements will need to be done before Grocery Outlet moves in.

Ferndale was identified as a place Grocery Outlet wanted to be at least a year ago and the company was waiting for the right space to become available, said Melissa Porter, vice president of marketing. The company has a store in Bellingham that she said does well and has been in the community more than 20 years, adding that Grocery Outlet has done extremely well in Washington state.

Porter said they expect to be open in Ferndale around mid-year in 2015. She’s not sure exactly how many employees will work there yet, but a store that size usually has around 40 workers. The company plans to have a job fair and about eight weeks before opening it will establish a Facebook page to provide updates.

Grocery Outlet has been in an expansion mode. The company added 16 stores in 2014 and expects to open about 20 more in 2015, Porter said.

While the company has more than 210 stores, each one is independently owned and operated, Porter said. According to the company website, Grocery Outlet offers brand-name products at up to 60 percent off conventional retail prices. The store operators make decisions on community involvement and they tend to be very active, she said.

The retail center, now known as North Sound Center, will undergo a variety of changes. The parking lot will be redesigned along with the entrance on Labounty Drive. The clothing store Find Your Fashion Again will expand into the space formerly home to a liquor store. Anderson said they also plan to construct a new building on the southeast corner of the center when demand allows.

Anderson said he expects the Grocery Outlet to be a great fit for Ferndale. As for the other space, he’s currently working with a broker to find a tenant. He expects it would be some type of retail.

The Ferndale Cost Cutter store has been around for 38 years but no longer met the company’s criteria for size and location, according to a news release from The Markets. The Markets has 10 stores in northwest and central Washington, including in Birch Bay, Blaine, Lynden and Everson.