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September 22, 1997

Business

QFC grand opening at Woodinville Towne Center

  NW News Staff
   The grand opening celebration of Woodinville's QFC starts this Wednesday and continues for two weeks with in-store demonstrations, balloons, give-aways and other specials. This Saturday, the store will pass out balloons, carnations, serve cake and coffee. A hot dog wagon will be outside the store on both Wednesday and Saturday.
  
   "We are proud of our new Woodinville store. It has been designed with your convenience in mind and we look forward to the pleasure of serving you," said Vince Ianni-ciello, store manager.
  
   The Woodinville Towne Center merchants will join the celebration with entertainment and other special activities this Saturday.
  
   With the conversion from the previous Stock Market to the QFC complete, the store has a more tailored look with lower ceilings, new displays and check-out counters.
  
   Featuring a full service bakery, deli, fresh seafood count-er, floral department and natural foods area, QFC also offers services such as the Chef's Express, Entrees to Go, and the Northwest Sandwich Bar are designed to help the on-the-go customers. Washington Mutual has a staffed in-store bank.
  
   QFC has 146 stores throughout western Washington and California with plans to open in Portland in 1998. Revenues approximately at $805 million in 1996, make it the second-largest supermarket chain in the Puget Sound region. Safeway is the first. More than 6,000 employees work for QFC in Washington.
  
   QFC's history is Bellevue-based. The late Jack Croco opened a grocery store in 1958 in Bellevue, and in 1960 merged with four Thriftway stores. In 1963 "Quality Food Centers" (QFC) was chosen as the name for the all the stores. Between 1963 and 1987, QFC acquired the A&P stores and other properties. In 1986 Stuart Sloan became chairman. He and Croco then took the store to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With 22 stores QFC made an initial public offering. In 1994 the company recapitalized. In 1995, QFC bought the Olson Food Stores, and in 1996 bought the Stock Market chain and Hughes Family Markets in California. They also started their own proprietary brand program called Heritage Brands™.
  
   QFC stock is publicly traded.