Thriftway expects to close in July, space remodeled in August

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Whole Foods announced this week that it will take over the Lambs Thriftway location along Southwest Scholls Ferry Road by May 2014. So long, Thriftway. Hello, Whole Foods.

Whole Foods Market officials announced Monday that they plan to open a new store along Southwest Scholls Ferry Road in Tigard. The store will take over the Lambs on Scholls Thriftway location in the Greenway Town Center near Southwest 121st Avenue.

Whole Foods already operates one store in town at Bridgeport Village. The new store will become the eighth Whole Foods store in Oregon, along with stores in Tanasbourne, Portland and Bend.

Whole Foods — which is based in Austin, Texas — plans to begin construction in August, according to the company.

It’s part of a $6 million remodel of the shopping center, said Craig Ramey, senior vice president and market officer for Regency Centers, which runs the Greenway Town Center.

The new store will feature covered outdoor seating and expanded bike parking. The store should be open by May 2014.

Along with the new Whole Foods, several other Greenway businesses, including Rite Aid, Dollar Tree and McMenamins, will see new storefronts as well as parking improvements, added energy-efficient lighting and a more efficient watering system for landscaping.

All the retailers will remain open during the redevelopment, Ramey said.

“It should all be done by the time Whole Foods opens,” he said.

Community input sought

Whole Foods is known as an upscale market specializing in local, organic and natural foods.

Bruce Silverman, Whole Foods’ regional vice president for the Pacific Northwest, said that the area is quickly transforming into the type of customer-base Whole Foods is looking for.

“We offer stuff that has very high sense of consciousness, with a lot of education involved in it,” he said. “We do a lot of work to bring very specific types of groceries to market and that really touch everything in the store.”

Silverman said it takes a specific type of customer interested in that type of product.

“It takes someone interested in going beyond just what’s ‘good for them,’ but what’s good for the world,” Silverman said. “We really focus on a program that has a further reach than just our local market.”

While the store is often seen as expensive, Silverman said, the store also offers plenty of products for people from all economic backgrounds.

“We haven’t designed the store yet, and we will design the store so that it meets with the community,” he said. “Economically, ethnically, our product selection will be designed with the community in mind.”

Whole Foods is also looking for suggestions from community members for what they’d like to see at the new store.

Susan Livingston, Whole Foods’ regional marketing director, said the store plans to hold a series of community meetings to discuss what will go into the new Tigard location before the final designs are firmed up.

Neighbors are asked to email questions or suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“We hope this is a collaborative process that helps us deliver a store that addresses the needs of our local shoppers,” Whole Foods President Joe Rogoff stated. “We are looking forward to becoming a bigger part of the Oregon community.”

‘No hard feelings

by: SUBMITTED RENDERING - Plans for a new remodeling at Greenway Town Center include a new supermarket, Whole Foods, which will take over the Lambs on Scholls Thriftway.For years, Lambs on Scholls has been the only Thriftway within Tigard’s city limits — first opening its doors in 1979.

The store closed in 1985, then reopened in 2001.

Owner Bob Lamb said Thriftway plans to close its doors in July. The closure was a mutual decision between Lambs and Regency, he said.

“If you spread your money too far, you do a halfway job on everything, and it doesn’t work,” said Lamb, who operates five Thriftway stores in the Portland area. “Now we’ll be able to do a full job at our other stores.”

Lamb had been thinking about pulling out of the Tigard operation for some time. When Regency said Whole Foods was interested in taking over the site, Lamb was relieved.

“We put over $2 million into our Wilsonville store and remodeled our store in Palisades,” Lamb said. “You can only do so much, and it didn’t make much sense for us to put in any more money there, so we’ll take that money and put it into our Garden Home store.”

Ramey and Lamb agreed that Thriftway’s decision to leave Tigard was mutual.

“In the point where he’s at with his business, and where we are as we continue to grow our business, we came to the decision together that this was the right thing to do both for Lambs and Regency,” Ramey said. “There are no hard feelings. People see things like this and sometimes think one party or other forced somebody out, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is really a win-win for everybody.”

Post office, bank also leaving?

Silverman said he is in talks to keep the store’s post office at the new Whole Foods.

“We will absolutely have conversation with them to see if they are interested in being part of the new store,” he said.

With Thriftway’s departure from Tigard, faithful shoppers will have to drive to either Garden Home, Lake Oswego, Wilsonville or Aloha.

The Garden Home store has a full post office. Lamb said both Wilsonville and Garden Home will honor the Tigard store’s cash card program.

“(Garden Home) is close enough to Tigard for people to come.” He said. “At least, most of them.”

Lamb said the Tigard store plans to slash prices to sell its grocery stock before it closes down next month, and some of the Tigard employees will be moved to other Lambs stores around the area.

Silverman said that he would be reaching out to Lambs to keep some of the Tigard employees at the new Whole Foods.

“We will be reaching out to the employees and actively seeking to engage the employee base,” he said.

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