Woodman's plans to open store in Menomonee Falls

Jack Orton
The Oak Creek Woodman’s, which opened last year, has created tough competition for nearby Sentry and Pick ’n Save stores. Woodman’s is planning another Milwaukee-area store in Menomonee Falls.
Published on: 1/21/2009

Woodman's Food Markets Inc. wants to open its second Milwaukee-area store in Menomonee Falls, a move that would create one of the area's largest supermarkets.

Janesville-based Woodman's has proposed a store with just more than 238,000 square feet for 33.4 acres at the northwest corner of N. 124th St. and Leon Road, said Matt Carran, community development director. That site is just off U.S. Highway 45, and is south of Westbrook Corporate Center.

"We hope to have it open next year, if everything goes as planned," said Clint Woodman, vice president of the Janesville-based supermarket chain.

Woodman's is known for its large stores and low prices. The employee-owned company operates 12 stores in Wisconsin and northern Illinois, including one in Oak Creek that opened last March. In 2007, with 11 stores, Woodman's had sales of about $1 billion.

The Menomonee Falls store will jump ahead of another planned for Sun Prairie in the company's expansion plans, Woodman said. A fall 2010 opening is the goal for Menomonee Falls, Woodman said.

"The Menomonee Falls site presented itself," he said. "We thought it was a better opportunity to build in Menomonee Falls first."

The company now hopes to open in Sun Prairie in 2011. Woodman's has been opening a new store every two years, but the company has opened other stores at a quicker pace in the past.

Woodman said the company's Oak Creek store, which opened last year, was the biggest opening ever, exceeding expectations.

He confirmed an analyst's estimate of about $1.8 million in sales per week for the Oak Creek location.

The store proposed for Menomonee Falls would include a gas station and liquor store and would look almost exactly like the one in Oak Creek, Woodman said.

The Plan Commission is to review the proposal at its Feb. 3 meeting.

Supermarket consultant David Livingston said a new Woodman's in Menomonee Falls would hurt surrounding grocers, including Pick 'n Save and Sentry stores.

"I don't think any of these stores would close but they will be significantly impacted," Livingston said. "I think Roundy's will be forced to lower their prices to a more competitive level. Roundy's lowered prices at their stores on Milwaukee's southeast side after Woodman's opened."

Livingston said Sentry stores, which are independently owned, would have a harder time competing with Woodman's. Roundy's is in a much better position to react to Woodman's because it is better capitalized.