The $330 million Vons Employees FCU opened a full service, in-store grocery branch in Hesperia, Calif. today, moving into a Wells Fargo facility that had closed just 30 days ago.
Donna Young, executive vice president and chief operating officer at the El Monte-based credit union, said area credit unions were searching for a way to fill a shared branching void left by Arrowhead Credit Union when it sold its Hesperia branch to Alaska USA FCU. The $4 billion Alaska USA decided against continuing shared branching service there, said Senior Vice President Dan McCue, because it is running "dual operations" to serve both its members and Arrowhead's through Aug. 31.
"Right now, we just can't deal with any extra members," McCue said.
When Young asked her sponsor about space in its Hesperia store, she learned the grocer had been tasked with disposing of branch fixtures, and had only covered them with drywall. When Young removed the wall, she found three teller stations, bulletproof glass, and more.
"We purchased the fixtures for a very small fee from Von's, took down the wall, painted it our colors, and here we are," Young said of the effort, which began just 10 days ago.
Despite the shared branching fee income, the branch is expected to operate in the red for the first few months, she said.