By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The supermarket’s shelves are mostly bare.
The chain’s CEO stood among them, looking around, and was … happy.
That’s the unusual scene we encountered this afternoon at PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor), which has hours to go before closing for the site’s redevelopment, including its new store, almost twice as big. Cate Hardy, PCC CEO and West Seattle resident, explained that the empty shelves represent a gift of sorts – they put much of the merchandise on sale in hopes of selling as many items as possible to the store’s loyal, local customers, instead of doing what a supermarket chain might do instead, just load up the leftovers and truck them to another store.
Our photos tell the story of just how much has been sold. The last prepared foods, Hardy noted, were cooked a few hours ago – the deli wasn’t sold out yet when we visited at mid-afternoon, but the store’s closing early tonight – 10 pm – and we can’t guarantee you’ll find much of anything if you visit this evening. The produce section, for example, was not only mostly bare, the center display stands had been moved out.
As Hardy walked us around the store, she noted that much of its equipment will be set up in the new Burien store opening next year. Many staffers are moving to other stores; Corinne, West Seattle manager for four years, isn’t – she told us she’s “semi-retiring.” For now.
She and other staffers have special West Seattle pins in commemoration of the soon-to-be-demolished store. Hardy observed that the “energy level is high” despite the looming shutdown, and that’s what we observed too.
The store had a Staff Appreciation Day party two weeks ago, with food trucks (including vegan Plum Bistro). And this afternoon, a mini-bash with (organic, of course) corn dogs and ice cream was happening in the upstairs break room. That’s also where employees are signing the wall:
They’re also proud of the cards and other messages they’ve received expressing appreciation:
Before customers exit the front door, they’re seeing this sign, with the reminder of other PCC stores, plus delivery options – Instacart and Prime Now – that will bring PCC merchandise to customers in West Seattle.
PCC is scheduled to reopen in 2019 as the only retail tenant in the Madison Development Group project on the site, which also will include 100+ apartments and 150+ offstreet parking spaces, including the existing surface corner lot west of the alley.
LOOKING FOR BACKSTORY? This WSB report from 11 months ago, when PCC finalized its spot in the new development, has a lot.