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Mar 28, 2009 09:35 AM

News on Trader Joe's on UWS?

Does anyone know the status of the possible Trader Joe's on the Upper West Side on 72nd st? If it is opening, does anyone know when?

If I don't have to schlep down to Union Square anymore for TJ's, I would be so thrilled!

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  1. The building it's going into isn't even half finished, so it will be a while.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Ann900

      WOW!! where did you guys here this? i guess i gotta check the trader joe website. i live one block away and, yes, the building is barely half done.

      1. re: nativeNYer

        here it is:
        Thanks, qwertyu! The estimated opening is next year.

        1. re: nativeNYer

          According to the original New York Magazine article, it's a "proposal submitted to the local community board." Does that mean TJ's has already made an agreement with the landlord, etc., or not?

          I love TJ's but they're well-known for being cheapskates on rent (which is probably why a lot of their prices are so impressively low) so if the ink is not dry on every aspect of the deal, then don't get your hopes up. Unless and until they start building the store, TJ's may back out at the first sign that it's going to cost them a penny more to get the space.

          And if the deal does go through, I wouldn't imagine it would open any time before January 2010 at the very earliest. Didn't the Brooklyn store take more than a year to open after it was announced?

          Heck, back in 2002, some TJ's employees were talking about forthcoming locations in Princeton, NJ, and Red Bank, NJ, and neither ever happened.

          1. re: Ike

            I hadn't heard anything about this until I found this thread. We have been crying and screaming that we NEED a TJs uptown, but 72nd and Broadway just seems more of the same. We have plenty of space up our a matter of fact, an empty grocery store sits vacant on the well traveled corner of 145th and Adam Clayton Powell, between two two subways lines and a bus that crosses the river into the Bronx. Not your typical TJs neighborhood, but when you see the number of Whole Foods and TJs bags being lugged allllll the way uptown from 14th Street it makes perfect sense.

            1. re: Uptownflavor

              Well, at least Whole Foods looks like it's going to be a more realistic possiblity on 98th and Columbus.

              1. re: gloriousfood

                The building that Whole Foods is going into IS just about finished - and according to WF's website the store will open in late summer. Can't wait- no more lugging bags from Columbus Circle!

                1. re: gloriousfood

                  ...on the flip side most folks can't afford to do the bulk of their shopping at WF whereas I used to do my week's shopping at TJs and never step foot in a grocery store. I could get about four or five bags of stuff (wine, TP, etc. included) for around $50 at TJs. If I go to WF $50 will have me walking out with one or two bags.

                  1. re: Uptownflavor

                    Yes, if I have to choose between the two, I'd much prefer to have a TJ. However, I am so tickled in general that at least one of them is opening up on the UWS--let alone possibly two! Trekking to TJ and esp. coming back w/all my heavy bags by subway is no joyride. Even going to WF near Lincoln Center can be a drag, esp. on the weekend w/all the subway construction that has been happening. I have yet to check out the space fo the WF opening up on 98th St. Is it pretty substantial?

                    1. re: gloriousfood

                      The WF space looks like it will be the entire part of the building between 97th & 98th. The 97th street side looks largely completed -- so you can stand on the sidewalk (now completed) and peer into the large windows. Signs still say late summer. Maybe our great greenmarket on 97th street will get more traffic with all these people coming up for WF. It'll be good for the farmers.

                      1. re: LNG212

                        Thanks, LNG! I really have to check it out. And yes, that would be nice if the farmers get more business as a result (remember how many people thought that opening up a WF and TJ near the Union Sq. Farmers Market would cut back on the farmers' business? I don't see that happening whenever I'm there).

                2. re: Uptownflavor

                  You are a genius, Uptown! I live close to the vacant Fine Fare intersection at 145th St., and it would be a brilliant place for TJ's to launch a store. The space at 72nd and Broadway is already served by Fairway, Zabar's and Citarella.

        2. I just want to see more TJ locations. They're not even going to benefit me, location wise, but it's almost criminal for them to open one Manhattan location in such a miniature space, that gets ransacked daily.

          Surely some business minded executive with TJ's can figure out they're not serving the potential customer base in NY properly, and there's more money to be made by giving us a more pleasant experience. More locations and wider aisles would help.

          4 Replies
          1. re: sugartoof

            There is plenty of space in the Bronx as well - A Bronx location could provide adequate parking space as a bonus.

            1. re: sugartoof

              I think the issue is that Trader Joe's really doesn't want to change their pricing in different markets, which is definitely something I appreciate. However, that must make it hard to find real estate in Manhattan...

              1. re: qwertyu

                I think the pricing on some items in the Manhattan store is just slightly higher, and I can't tell you how many times I've watched people abandon their shopping trips because the store was impossible. They're losing revenue.

                1. re: sugartoof

                  agreed. and due to lack of space don't carry the same items as other TJs

            2. The media, specifically, New York Magazine has said TJ is going into the space on 72nd, but I don't believe it has been confirmed by TJ's.
              The current economy and the many available appropriate spaces may mean there is a chance for this though. They must be aware the the demographic and demand is there.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                An employee at the Brooklyn TJ's told me it's just a rumor. Thank god for the Brooklyn location by the way. It's so much better than the 14th St one.

                1. re: vinegarhill

                  Truthfully, ANYTHING is better than the 14th St. store.
                  Dirty, crowded, poorly stocked and a bitch to walk around.
                  I avoid it like the plague.

                  If you want a nice store, go to the Whole Foods in Tribeca,
                  Immaculate!...and stocked!

                  1. re: pbjluver

                    The 14th St. Whole Foods is equally as dysfunctional. It's like night and day stepping foot into their other locations.

              2. Does anyone know if there are any updates?

                22 Replies
                1. re: qwertyu

                  Yes...a friend who lives on the UWS said the 72nd/Bway location is not only happening, it looks like they're making progress! The annoying thing is that they don't have any info on the TJ's site, but I did find this:

                  1. re: Curlz

                    I would hope Trade Joe's would reconsider going into this location. It sends a terrible message; opening in a luxury building in an very upscale neighborhood that already has countless quality food shopping options (Zabar's, Fairway, Gourmet Garage, West Side Market, and Food Emporium) within blocks, and goes contrary to their philosophy. Now if they opened in Harlem, then they would be walking the walk instead of talking the talk of being a socially conscious enterprise. Say it ain't so. . . Trader Joe.

                    1. re: salvati

                      Trader Joe's is also scheduled to open in the old Barnes & Noble space on 6th Ave. at 21st / 22nd St...huge space

                      1. re: salvati

                        I believe the name of the game is to make money.

                        Anyway....would it kill them (or Fairway or Whole Food for that matter) to open up on the upper east side? It's a barren wasteland of food shopping!

                        1. re: gutsofsteel

                          Yes it is to make money, but don't then hide behind the cloak of being a socially conscious company. Tell it like it is. If you want to talk the talk, let's see them walk the walk.

                          1. re: salvati

                            There are all kinds of ways to be socially conscious. Relatively speaking they do a good job. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't open profitable stores in affluent neighborhoods. In order for them to do financially risky things, they have to do lots of safe profitmaking things.

                            1. re: gutsofsteel

                              In a neighborhood that has plenty of what they offer? Maybe you can be both profitable and socially conscious. Fairway in Harlem is very successful. I'm sure a Trader Joe's in Harlem would do fantastic. It would be good for their "image" and good for the community.

                              1. re: salvati

                                I'll be very happy to have a Trader Joe's uptown, and I'm glad they're doing it. Putting a store on the UWS does not make them less socially conscious.

                                1. re: gutsofsteel

                                  In my opinion it does. If you are going to talk the talk, you should also, walk the walk. They are taking the safe, easy route here instead of showing. . .um. .. guts of steel.

                                  1. re: salvati

                                    Not sure how opening an UWS store in a high rent space near numerous other very established food stores is "taking the safe, easy route". I assume that TJ has done extensive demographic studies however, and that it makes sense to them to open a store down the street from Fairway, Citarella and Zabar's. I'm not sure that a Trader Joe's in Harlem would automatically be successful. While TJ has a high name recognition among foodies, I know plenty of people for whom the name Trader Joe's doesn't mean anything. After all, there is only one store in Manhattan so far. I would guess that after the two new locations open and become established that a location in Harlem would make more sense.

                                    1. re: j. marie

                                      I think a TJ in Harlem would absolutely thrive, esp. if it opens on the 116th St. corridor. I live in Harlem, and it's amazing to see, on a daily basis, the number of people in my building lugging their TJ shopping bags from downtown. Believe me, we are constantly lamenting how we have to carry such heavy loads and wishing that TJ was closer.

                                      Heck, I remember when Fresh Direct first started delivering in Harlem, what a "victory" that was for our building (many of us had written letters to FD for this service--not sure if it made a difference, but bottom line is they deliver to Harlem now).

                                      Harlem can use some competition in this respect. And as long as they keep their prices low (many of their items are cheaper than the local supermarket in our nabe), and word gets out, I think TJ would be very successful in Harlem.

                                      First Fairway, Citarella, now Costco have all opened in Harlem. I'm hopeful.

                                      1. re: gloriousfood

                                        Not only would it be successful in Harlem, Gloriousfood, but if they opened in or around 116th St, they would get the Upper East Side and Morningside TJ shopper as well. It would be huge both financially and for their image.

                                        1. re: salvati

                                          You think UESers are going to go to 116th St to a Trader Joe's. I think that's absurd. Anyway maybe you should go work for them or something. I think this is a company that has been amazingly successful in their pace of opening, their marketing strategy, etc. They're doing their thing and they're doing it very, very well. All things in their time. One step at a time.

                                          1. re: gutsofsteel

                                            Why wouldn't UESers go to 116th Street? People all over Manhattan have been traveling to 3rd and 14th? Is there something wrong with 116th Street that would upset an UESer? If you live in Carnegie Hill it would take a matter of minutes. But I hope you are not assuming that because of the "neighborhood" they wouldn't come. That's not very socially conscious thinking.

                                            1. re: salvati

                                              I live on the UES. And I go up to 116th St. all the time to eat and shop for things I can't get elsewhere. But believe me, it's not common. It's nice to have all kinds of wish lists for how people will behave and what they will do, but I'm assuming that Trader Joe's has actually done tons of market research and have made a decision which they feel makes the most sense for them at this time. What they do in the future....who knows. Clearly they are expanding slowly in Manhattan and based on their track record....they have a good idea as to what makes sense for them.

                                              FWIW, they are owned by a German company, which also owns the chain Aldi I think.

                                              1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                I'm sure they have done the market research. That's the problem. They need more risk taking and guts of steel to show their true colors. Or, use the cliche, "think out of the box." A store in Harlem around 116th makes perfect sense and would be a huge success both economically and for their image. Fairway's a success in Harlem. 125th Street has major retailers. It's a natural combination. I'm surprised the geniuses in market research haven't thought of it. I guess its just easy to go into a proven market like the UWS. No risk taking or guts of steel in that decision.

                                                1. re: salvati

                                                  Do you do a lot of shopping in Harlem?

                                                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                    Almost all of my shopping is done in Harlem.

                                              2. re: salvati

                                                I think it's more unlikely that a store on 116th would serve as an ideal location for a Harlem location. Harlem is spread out, and finally has some pretty decent options for supermarkets so I'm sure that was a consideration. TJ is opening their stores very slowly, too slowly if you ask me, but the idea that it's more socially conscious to open in one neighborhood and not the other is really unfortunate. If the idea is that TJ should be opening in areas perceived as "ghetto" or "lower class" then Harlem still needs to get in line. Either way, more TJ's stores soon please! With full sized, adult shopping carts, ideally.

                                                1. re: sugartoof

                                                  Your logic then totally defies TJ's thinking by opening an UWS store very close to several major markets. No one used the words ghetto or lower class to describe Harlem in this thread. It's a neighborhood, yes spread out, that unfortunately does not have near the services that other more affluent neighborhoods have. A market around 116th Street, like Trader Joe's, would not only be well received, but also a good thing for an emerging neighborhood. TJ's would be doing their part in helping Harlem "get in line," whatever that means.

                          2. re: salvati

                            My standard line to something like this is:
                            I've never seen a shopping mall with only 1 shoe store.

                            If you're food shopping it will be convenient to have a number of different places all in the saem few blocks, as they're all good for different things.

                            1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                              Y'know, you may have something there. Actually, it's very rare for me to get all the food items I need in one store. I typically have to go to 3-4 places - one place for the bread, another place for the great cheese, .... oh..... and then that other place sells those great cookies that I can't find anywhere else. So, yeh, I concur.

                      2. Looks like the new Upper West Side Trader Joe's could open by August!

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