Growing up on the plateau just outside of Issaquah, there was one spot where all the middle schoolers would go to hang out. It was the stomping ground for all the cool kids. You may know it as QFC. We called it “The Q.”
Really, it was an entire strip mall. The grocery store was the anchor tenant. But to kids at Pine Lake and Beaver Lake middle schools, The Q was the place to be. So I wasn’t surprised that QFC’s latest re-branding idea is to potentially change the store’s name to “The Q.”
RELATED: Have you ever heard of “The Q?”
I was surprised, however, to learn how uncommon the nickname was among the rest of Western Washington. MyNorthwest ran a Twitter poll last week, asking locals if they have ever called QFC by the single initial. An overwhelming 92 percent had never heard even of it.
So I guess that puts me in the 8 percent. I’m going to argue that puts me in a very hip, in-the-know crowd. And hey, beyond the chic name it does cut down on a whole syllable. We’re saving time.
Have you ever called QFC “The Q”
— KIRO Radio 97.3 FM🎙 (@KIRORadio) April 6, 2018
The Q aka QFC
The new name was also a bit strange to the staff at The Seattle Times. Only a handful had ever heard of it. But according to The Times, Suzy Monford, president of the QFC division at Kroger, often called the store “The Q” while chatting with reporter Benjamin Romano on the phone. Monford mentioned that the company, based in Bellevue, is considering a few re-branding ideas to modernize the grocery chain. Since many who work at QFC, and some customers, call it “The Q,” they’re considering a name upgrade.
Monford also noted that the grocery store has already used “The Q” in a few marketing materials.
The Seattle area already has a bevy of grocery stores from Safeway to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. But the times are changing for grocery stores. After all, the very first QFC was torn down to make room for light rail construction in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood.
Amazon has even entered the market, too, with Amazon Go, where customers take items off the shelf and leave the store without ever going through a checkout line. QFC has experimented with such innovations. The Times points out that QFC has dabbled with technology for customers to buy right off the shelf. It also offers online grocery orders and home delivery in the Puget Sound region. And it sells meal kits akin to Blue Apron.
Could a hip new moniker make the ultimate difference?