Trader Joe’s trading in East Downtown?
The opening of any Trader Joe’s outside California makes news. I mean, what other grocer offers gluten-free organic
TV dinners precooked frozen meals and two dollar bottles of wine? Exactly.
So, we all know the the sole Trader Joe’s in Albuquerque has gone completely gangbusters from day one. Heck, that wasn’t too hard to predict. SoCal ex-pats + -(Trader Joe’s) = Demand. Not very surprising, TJ opened their first Burque store smack dab in the middle of the most affluent part of town. (Forgive them for being risk adverse.) Anyway, after the Albuquerque store’s first week of operation the obvious question was, “Where are they opening the next one?”
Trader Joe’s is a fifty year old company, and if they wanted to be everywhere they could have easily raised the capital and done it by now. Let everything marinate for a minute… ah, Trader Joe’s gestation period is a little longer than Starbucks.
So, are we getting another Trader Joe’s? Well, yes… to the best of my shaky/what you might call/close enough to knowledge.
Trader Joe’s locations are popping up a little faster around the country. TJ isn’t committed to a one store per town policy. So, more store openings and a bona fide hit in Albuquerque mean we’re getting another Trader Joe’s, right?
Yeah, those are good indicators, but we don’t know until we know, you know? And, here is what I know: no one has said there won’t be more Trader Joe’s in Albuquerque’s future. BAM! How is that for insight?!
We’ve all heard murmurs about a new grocery store in
Huning Highlands East Downtown… a Whole Foods? Trader Joe’s? Tesco’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market? We’ve also all heard a grocer won’t move in because there aren’t enough people. (*Cough* Bullshit. Residential density, while an important part of the equation, isn’t the only part of this algebra. How about the near 100k that work in or commute through downtown daily?) And, people are moving back to Downtown. Naysayers, do what you do, but folks are buying some (relatively) expensive square footage in Albuquerque’s core.
It is only a matter of time before Downtown strikes a grocer (besides Lowe’s). The hot action is still near Old Albuquerque High. While I like the idea, I have my doubts. Namely, traffic. Grocery stores are busy. Where are you going to put the cars? What are you going to do when the intersections back up? I’ve heard several folks suggest a store on Arno St. Well, the only space with the right footprint seems like the ABQ High Arts building. Nice pad, but you can’t have grocery store traffic there (unless you maybe block auto access to/from Central Ave.). I’ve visited other downtowns’ grocery stores with underground or rooftop parking, but I think it’s safe to say we won’t get anything like that at Old ABQ High. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea, but logistically I don’t see it happening. Someone, show me how it is suppose to work.
Back to Trader Joe’s. Last year I spent several months working in California. My temporary residence was across the street from a TJ. I’d stop in every two or three days to pick up some carbs, protein and other food pyramid blocks. Anyway, checking out one day, the manager rung me up. He wanted an ID for the booze. Scoping it, my bearded clerk voluntarily voiced, “New Mexico? Don’t see to many of those. You live in Albuquerque– we opened a store there not too far back. It’s doing hella good business. We’re going to open at least another there.”
And there you have it. Some store manager out in California says we’re getting another Trader Joe’s. It’s gotta be true, right? Yeah. Well, we’ll see.
I like the EDo idea. It’s the whole fruition part I’m waiting for; we’re waiting for. There has to be something behind it. You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it. Golly-gee. Enough hearing, let’s see something.
In other grocery store news, I think we’re a day or two from seeing our another Whole Foods proper. Peep the Carlisle/Indian School Wild Oats, yo.