Lolli and Pops and other emerging multi-state retailers have found a sweet deal in Boise.
The San Francisco-based candy and chocolate purveyor is an early player in a new dynamic in retail expansion: Opening a store in the Treasure Valley early in their history, and, in some cases, coming to Boise before Portland or Seattle.
Until the past year or two, national retailers routinely did not find Idaho until they had stores operating in 40 states, sometimes even 47 or 48 states. Idaho was the 46th state for Panera Bread. Boise waited more than 20 years for Trader Joe’s once the southern California grocer decided to expand out of state.
“We’ve been west, east, north, even south, and finally we are ‘in’ the Rocky Mountains as we open stores in both Idaho and Colorado,” Trader Joe’s notes on its website timeline.
Chick-fil-A was founded in 1967 in Georgia but didn’t find Boise until November 2010, nor Washington until 2015 and Oregon until 2016, employing the same rationale: “The Pacific Northwest is about as far from Atlanta as it gets. That’s the only reason.”
Idaho was the 48th state to get an ABC Supply Co. store, the nation’s largest wholesale distributor of roofing supplies. CVS Pharmacy is in 49 states and only arrived in Idaho in 2016.
On the other hand, Lolli and Pops, established in 2012, opened its 27th store at Boise Towne Square in July 2016. Idaho was the company’s 12th state. Less than a year later, the company now has 38 stores in 17 states.
“We wouldn’t have done it first but it was a natural extension to do infill in the Boise market,” said David Friedman, vice president of real estate and store development at Lolli and Pops. “We are doing really well in Seattle, Portland and Denver. Where can we duplicate that effort? The psychography of Boise is similar, the lifestyle that is there.”
Several other newer, multi-state retailers have expanded to the Treasure Valley in their early years. For more details, read the full story at the Idaho Business Review.