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Washington Voices

Valley Trading Company has lighter, brighter look

Sat., May 8, 2010

The Trading Company store at McDonald Road and Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley finished an interior remodel last month. The work, which began in early December, focused on making the store lighter and brighter while replacing dated and dilapidated décor, flooring and fixtures.

According to co-owner Paul Matejovsky, the color scheme inherited from Tidyman’s when he and partner Gary Morgan purchased the store in 2006 was overdue for an update. Instead of Tidyman’s characteristic green, they used Tuscan gold and burgundy as accent colors, with light, neutral tones throughout.

“The bottom line is, the store was dark with dark green. It was dated. We needed to freshen up, brighten up and clean up so many things. Even the public restrooms – I didn’t want to use them,” said Matejovsky.

The public restrooms in the front of the store were enlarged, and they converted a small combination restroom in the back of the store to a larger, unisex family restroom. Additionally, both entrances now have cart storage and inside the east entrance they’ve staffed a full-service post office that’s open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

While the remodel was designed by Store Design Services, a Minnesota supermarket design group, Matejovsky said they hired local businesses to complete the work. Jamison Sign, based in Newman Lake, handled décor and Contractors Northwest Inc., based in Coeur d’Alene, was the general contractor.

With the remodel complete, Matejovsky said they will work toward making the other three Trading Company stores match the Valley store. The other stores are located in Cheney, Post Falls, and Spokane.

All of the changes in the $1.5 million project, said Matejovsky, were geared toward a better customer experience. And to keep current customers happy with an efficient shopping experience, they kept all the aisles and product placement the same, with the exception of the espresso bar, which now gets more use by the bakery and deli with expanded customer seating.

“This gives us synergies, because we can share labor,” said Matejovsky, noting that moving the espresso bar is efficient for the store while enabling employees to provide better customer service.

For humor, the store has quotes painted on the walls, with sayings from various celebrities including Yogi Berra, Jeff Foxworthy, Dave Barry and Phyllis Diller. “They are up there to be lighthearted,” said Matejovsky, explaining that if customers come in after a long or hard day and read a funny quote, they’ll likely leave in a better mood.

Other changes include new wall finishes, flooring, cases, coolers and wine racks, as well as the addition of a bulk-food section. They also added lighting in the produce department and installed about 4,000 energy-efficient lightbulbs throughout the store.

“It was so dark, we wanted to brighten it up,” said Matejovsky.

Additionally, they replaced the checkstands with erogonomic checkstands and relocated the store manager’s office to the front of the store.

Matejovsky said the remodel is already garnering good customer feedback. “At the end of the day you do this with hopes to provide a better shopping experience and attract more shoppers,” he said. “So far, so good. We are pleased with the results.”



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