I think Brookings is paradise, but I have to admit that it’s not necessarily a shopper’s paradise.

If you like to pop over to Target or Costco every few days, you might not like living in Brookings.

Retail therapy?

Personally, I’d rather have the natural beauty, relative peace and quiet, and friendly local community than all of the crowds that go along with cities large enough to attract big stores. However, we all need some retail therapy once in a while (or at least have to buy new shoes), so here’s the low-down about shopping in Brookings (and Harbor), Oregon.

Freddies, Bi-Mart, other chains

The largest stores in Brookings are Fred Meyer, Bi-Mart, Dollar General and Grocery Outlet. If you are not familiar with the Pacific Northwest, you might not have heard of some of these regional chain stores. If that’s the case, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Fred Meyer, which is part of the Kroger retail family, is a two-story department store that carries everything you might need, from groceries to clothing, to furniture, sporting goods, and rhododendrons. And if you can’t find it at Freddie’s (the local nickname for the store), they’re sure to have it at Bi-Mart.

Bi-Mart is an employee-owned company with stores in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. A lifetime membership in Bi-Mart costs only $5 for the entire family, and every Tuesday you can go to the store to see if your membership number was drawn to win a prize!

Grocery Outlet is a locally-owned store that moved from Harbor to a new location within the City of Brookings early in 2020. Other chain businesses in the city include O’Reilly Auto Parts and Mini Pet Mart. Chain retailers include a Sears Hometown Store, Rite-Aid and DollarTree in Harbor, as well as a number of specialty stores.

Friendly home-grown businesses

Plus, we have a wide range of friendly local shops and stores carrying everything from furniture, fabric and craft supplies to dog biscuits and lumber. We have two new auto dealers, as well as several used vehicle outlets, plenty of tire and auto maintenance businesses, a movie theater and a variety of wonderful restaurants.

Indeed, if you didn’t want to leave Brookings you could manage quite well. And, of course, you can always supplement local offerings with online shopping.

Crescent City shopping

Plus, just 26 miles down the road in Crescent City, California, there are other major retailers including Walmart, Home Depot, Safeway, Tractor Supply Walgreens, and a Harbor Freight store (opened in 2020).

Further afield

When I want to go out of town for a shopping experience that I can’t find locally (such as Costco), I can choose from either Grants Pass and Medford (in Oregon, so no sales tax) or Eureka, California. Either destination requires about a 2.5-hour drive (each way). I generally make a day of it, but I’m always glad when I’m back home in Brookings!


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