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Volume 13, Issue 7
July 2015


Bales Buys Lamb’s Markets

The local grocery scene has changed again with the acquisition of Lamb’s Markets by Bales For Food Inc. Bales acquired the Lamb chain on June 12, 2015.

Bales, which was founded in 1961, currently has two Thriftway Marketplaces—one in Cedar Mill and one in Aloha. The Lamb’s chain has been in business for about 43 years and has stores in Lake Oswego, Wilsonville, Garden Home and also owns the Stroheckers grocery in Portland.

The original Bales store was in the building currently housing Bingo.

According to Barry Miller, Bales Vice President of Perishables, the pending retirement of Lamb’s owner Bob Lamb and economy of scale were key motivating factors behind the sale. “Size gives us flexibility to get better products at a better price,” he told Lake Oswego Review editor Gary M. Stein.

Though he doesn’t expect the new company to have the lowest prices in the area, it will be more competitive. Miller said that the combined chain will continue to emphasize fresh, local, sustainable products sourced from “places that use good farming practices.” He expects that the management team will make “micro changes—we’ll look for details where we can improve.”

Both Bales CEO Mark Miller and his brother Barry will serve in the same roles for the merged company, which will now have six stores and more than 400 employees, including at least four new hires from the recently shuttered Hanks Thriftway in Hillsboro. Two other owners of the Lamb’s chain—Nick Goldsmith and Gale Lasko—will have executive roles in the combined company

Dave Rumley, president and general manager of Signature Northwest (parent company of Bales and Lamb’s), told Stein that all of the Lamb’s Markets locations will keep their names for now, and current employees will keep their jobs. He told the Oregonian’s Wendy Owen that regular Lamb’s customers will notice less “clutter” in the aisles and more room to maneuver carts, but no drastic changes. Lamb’s stores will get some programs that have been successful in the Bales’ store, but all stores will continue to have sections unique to each neighborhood. Rumley told Owen that, “We’re going to take the best from both companies.”


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Published monthly by Pioneer Marketing & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291
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