Friday, June 19, 2015

Goodbye Grocer

The shelves had been picked half clean by the time I arrived. Memories of mothers with bee hive hairdos and cat-eye glasses clung to the few remaining cans of instant soup.
Hanks Thriftway
Subject: Hank's Thriftway | Date: 06/17/15 | Photographers: James Kiester & Dani Cogswell | This picture was taken by the author of this blog. |

The morning paper told me Hank’s Thriftway was in the process of closing its doors after 80 years. When I was a child, in Aloha, in the 70s, there was Hanks and the TV Highway Safeway if one wanted to buy groceries at a supermarket. We didn’t even have a local 7-11 store until I was 10 years old. Thus, seeking the best price involved driving between the two stores.

I typically do my shopping, these days, at the cheaper Winco, or the gourmet oriented New Seasons and Whole Foods. However, I had business in Hillsboro on Wednesday, so I figured I’d do my grocery shopping at Hank’s to take advantage of the liquidation sale, and to say goodbye to the remnant of my childhood. I also thought I'd be able to write a blog about “progress steam rolling the little guy.”

I can’t write the blog I’d planned.

The shelves were understandably half empty by the time I got there, such is the nature of a liquidation sale.  Yet, their "sale prices" were higher than other stores' regular prices.  For example, Hank's was selling boxes of 6 Pop Tarts for $5.00 ($1.25 per Pop Tart).  Walgreen's offers boxes of 8 Pop Tarts for $2.59 ($0.32 per Pop Tart).  Of course, to off set these prices, if I'd subscribed to the newspaper on the way out, I could've received a gift card to use on my next visit.

It's true, I had only shopped at Hank's three times a year, if that, for the past twenty years.  Thus, the death of this Hillsboro landmark is partly the fault of convenience oriented shoppers, such as yours truly.  However, if the prices and promotion I saw were indicative of business as usual, I have to wonder if better management could have saved the place.

Sadly, we'll never know.

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