Bayview & Ralph’s Thriftway – Seven Weekly Events Attract Shoppers

olympia grocery store


By Natasha Ashenhurst

olympia grocery store
Produce Happy Hour happens on Tuesdays from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at both Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway stores.

“Stop by Ralph’s any Tuesday evening, and there is a crowd, a ton of people. It’s just crazy,” said Anna, an employee at Ralph’s.

It is Happy Hour at Ralph’s, but Ralph’s isn’t a bar or restaurant, businesses traditionally tied to low prices on food and drink for an hour or two.  Ralph’s is a locally owned grocery store.  And, the crowds of people are gathering in the produce section to check out the deals they know they can find at Produce Happy Hour every Tuesday evening from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.  Same deals, same time at Bayview Thriftway too.

“In 2006 food retailers spent $717.5 billion on marketing.” – Food Marketing Institute

Produce Happy Hour is one of seven weekly events scheduled at Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway stores and a business model that is proving successful for the Stormans family, owners of the local, Olympia grocery stores.

“The idea is that we’ve moved away from a traditional advertising model where you throw your ad out there and hope that people shop at your store. Instead, what we do is take advertising dollars and convert them into something that provides value to the customer. One of the ways we’ve done this is by developing daily promotions,” said Gregory Stormans, Vice President of Stormans Inc.

“For every dollar spent on food, eighty-one cents are spent on marketing.” – USDA Economic Research Service.

“Advertising is a hit or miss adventure. Putting money into advertising has a minimal impact. Our strategy is to put it into something that directly impacts the customer so they can get significant and immediate value out of it,” said Stormans.

Thriftway has a different promotion every day of the week and each one is fun and targets a different customer. “One of our objectives is to find a number of things to attract customers. They can look at these seven days and say, ‘I really like that Monday special, they always have things that we can use.’ Out of the seven different ideas, they might like one, two or five. We are trying to cast a broader net of in-store promotions that the customer will more likely respond to,” said Stormans.

olympia grocery storeThis is proving to be a successful strategy for the local grocery store chain, and great for Thurston County as well. Stop by next Tuesday night and check it out for yourself.

An Insider’s Guide to Shopping at Thriftway

There are a number of ways to find out about Thriftway specials and weekly promotions. The weekly ad is available online, in stores, and via e-mail if you are a ThrifteCard holder.

Here is a list of the Thriftway “7 Days a Week” specials:

  • Sunday is VIP (Very Important Purchase) Day. Spend $25 and earn $1. Spend $50 and earn $2, spend $75 and earn $3.
  • Monday is “Monday Madness”. The promotion offers buy one get one free on ten new items that rotate weekly.
  • Tuesday is “Produce Happy Hour”, featured 50% off select fruits and vegetables from 4-7 p.m.
  • Wednesday is for the 55+ crowd and is called “Boomer”Rang. Earn 55 cents for every $10 spent.
  • Thursday is Thrillin’ Grillin’. Bayview Catering sets-up the grill outside the stores and 10% of the profits are donated to Thurston County Food Bank.
  • Friday is Fresh Catch Friday and features discounts on select seafood.
  • Saturday is Ad.Mazing Ad.Day. It is the day to stop by, grab an ad, and enter a chance to win a weekly drawing for a $50 gift card.
olympia grocery store
Mandie Lutz and Jeff Greenwell prepare BBQ meals at Bayview Thriftway.  This is the Thursday weekly special with proceeds benefiting the Thurston County Food Bank.

Bayview Thriftway

516 4th Ave West

Olympia, WA 98502


Ralph’s Thriftway

1908 East 4th

Olympia, WA 98506



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