Welcome To The Midlands, Trader Joe’s!

traderjoesFriday is apparently a big day for Columbia and Forest Acres, South Carolina. If you haven’t heard, Trader Joe’s opens its doors on Forest Drive at 8:00AM.

I’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s, but the buzz about this Grand Opening is rivaling the epic PR campaigns of Whole Foods at CrossHill Market and Mast General Store on Main Street.

Here’s what Trader Joes’s is all about:
Our Story:
It all started in the 50s… Would you believe we started out as a small chain of convenience stores? It’s true. Way back in 1958. We were called Pronto Markets. In ’67, our founder, the original Trader Joe, changed our name (yes, to Trader Joe’s) and the way we do business.

We made the stores bigger (if you can imagine), decked the walls with cedar planks and donned our crew in cool Hawaiian shirts. Most importantly, we started putting innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods in the “Trader Joe’s” name. That cut our costs and saved you money. Still does.

And that’s important, because “Value” is a concept we take very seriously. And by value we mean great everyday prices on all of our great products — no sales, no gimmicks, no clubs to join, no special cards to swipe… How do we do it?
We buy direct from suppliers whenever possible, we bargain hard to get the best price, and then pass the savings on to you.
If an item doesn’t pull its weight in our stores, it goes away to gangway for something else.
We buy in volume and contract early to get the best prices.
Most grocers charge their suppliers fees for putting an item on the shelf. This results in higher prices… so we don’t do it.
We keep our costs low — because every penny we save is a penny you save.

It’s not complicated. We just focus on what matters — great food + great prices = Value.

Okay, we skipped over a few milestones, but you can catch them in the Trader Joe’s Timeline. It’s a trip.”

Impressively, Trader Joe’s is a private company and boasts almost 400 stores, half of which are in California.

If I owned EarthFare, The Fresh Market, Bi-Lo, or Publix, I’d be a little miffed at the free media Columbia’s newest grocery store has fetched. That said, I guess that’s part of the game as hype and branding matter.

I’ve been wondering when Trader Joe’s was scheduled to open it’s doors. I’m on Forest Drive pretty much every day, and have noticed the 100ish buggies lined up the length of the storefront for over a week. Apparently, Friday is the day.

Personally typing – Welcome to Columbia, Trader Joe’s! The Midlands is ready for you and I’m sure our family will be cruising your aisles this weekend!


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