A light rain didn’t put a damper on turnout for the highly-anticipated opening of the new Trader Joe’s store in the Short Pump Station shopping center. The colorful, Hawaiian-themed store opened Friday morning to a huge crowd. During our visit around 10:00 a.m. Friday, the checkout lines were backed up well into the aisles.
Unlike at the grand opening of Whole Foods Market, which we covered a few weeks back, customers seemed to know what they wanted and made substantial purchases. Shopping carts were filled to the brim in the checkout lines. Shoppers at Whole Foods seemed to be more interested in scoping out the store’s selection.
Trader Joe’s specializes in hard to find natural products and lower (relative) prices. The shoppers we talked to seemed to agree. “I like their organic foods and low prices,” shopper Jaime Gates said as she waited to check out. “[They have] great packaged stuff that doesn’t come with all of the fillers.”
This is the first Richmond store for the California-based chain, but there are plenty others around the state. There are almost a dozen Trader Joe’s locations in the Washington, D.C. area, and the company has also opened stores in Williamsburg and Newport News.
How might this affect local grocer Ukrop’s?
Trevor Dickerson started DowntownShortPump.com, which does for Short Pump what BizSense does for business. His website is a new BizSense partner, helping us extend our business coverage to the far West End.