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Should Trader Joe's have its own board?

This question is only partially tongue-in-cheek.

Of the 25 threads on the home page of the Chains board, 13 of them are about Trader Joe's.

That seems excessive. I'm a bit of a Costco fan, but there have never been Costco threads this numerous.

Granted I am not a Trader Joe's fan; I don't like it and do not ever shop there. But it's kind of annoying to have to wade through all the TJ threads to find something else that interests me.

Two solutions come to mind:

(A) Split off Trader Joe's onto its own board (which seems a tad silly) or
(B) Do a quarterly thread for items TJ, the way we do for Costco; that would cover Brie, Sparkling Water, Valencia butter, and all the other TJ stuff about which people are creating individual threads.

Comments? Questions? Other ideas? The inevitable snarking from TJ lovers?

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  1. Or you could just ignore the threads you don't want to read...

    2 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      But as the OP says - it does tend to congest and dominate the Chains board. I've often wishes there was a separate one for TJs (or Grocery chains) myself...

      1. re: sockii

        The Chain board has never really been that much of a quick turn over board so not sure of the issue.

    2. I have a feeling the threads are monthly because a quarterly TJ thread would be too cumbersome.

      Its easy to skip what you don't want to read and there is a search function if you don't feel like scrolling to find something.

      2 Replies
      1. re: weezieduzzit

        Well. No. I look at the first page of the Chains board; when more than half of the threads are TJ threads I don't see much else. So no, I don't skip. On that board, I look every couple of days, and if stuff that interests me is supplanted by TJ threads, I just don't see it.

        1. re: jmckee

          Well, that's your choice. Its only as big of a deal as you decide to make it.

      2. Yes, Trader Joe's - or maybe Grocery Chains? I find the number of TJ postings annoying, too.

        6 Replies
          1. re: fldhkybnva

            I would be in favor of a Food Shopping board for threads about:

            grocery chains like Trader Joe's, Aldi, Wegmans
            experiencing remorse after buying an expensive cauliflower
            where to find particular items or brands
            whether or not to return sub-par apples
            how annoying it is that tuna only comes in 5 oz. cans now


            1. re: small h

              I think this is the best idea and makes sense since I never thought of grocery stores as "chains" anyway although they are that makes me think more about restaurants and coffeeshops

              1. re: small h

                I also like the idea of a Food Shopping board for the items you highlight and the Chains board can be about restaurant chains. For registered CH members and non members readers, this concept would assist in searching and posting more specifically rather than a mash up and the time involved in sifting through.

                Anything that can help streamline the sheer volume gets my vote.

                1. re: HillJ

                  Searching is easy you can search across or within boards... this idea is irrelevant.

                  Frankly I would rather see an ignore function so that a thread will always be marked as read or even an ignore by keyword ... that would solve the problem across multiple boards without having to keep creating another board. There comes a point where there can be too many boards. Reminds me of the discussion of academics who keep specializing.. they know more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    Let's not muddy the waters here with examples outside the scope of this food site, it's challenging enough to make recommendations to the CH Team.

                    Searching is not easy if you aren't opening the thread or wish to bypass a specific topic on Chains and doesn't address the OP's question. I didn't bring up Search to find something; only to avoid a topic and nothing is irrelevant in the course of a discussion on Site Topic exploring options . Rather rude of you considering your own points/preferences are part of this discussion.

                    We have an un-function right now if you decide to remove yourself from a thread you no longer wish to participate in but to out yourself from a list of threads you have not opened on any board does not currently exist.

                    The CH Team has created boards that originated on a topical board (Cheese, BBQ, Gardening, Special Diet) and those boards are thriving.

                    So, cwd we may not agree btwn us but I do agree with the ideas being presented.

          2. I'm not a fan of TJ's and I do find the amount of repetitious TJ thread annoying and often repetitive. I would suggest perhaps a grocery board for TJ's and all other grocery type stores.

            Leave the "chains" board to restaurant chains, which honestly was my initial impression of the board.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jrvedivici

              After giving this some more thought I have a further suggestion I think might be helpful on this topic.

              Can TJ's have their own board, and can it be on yelp?

              1. re: jrvedivici

                You're pushing it there, Junior.

                I've been shopping at Whole Foods before it was Whole Foods. Namely, Bread and Circus Cambridge,1979. Organic, Non-GMO, Non-BPA - everything I want in my produce, meats, and seafood. It's an excellent store with people who know their products, can accommodate your needs, with very good service. The chain deserves its rightful place on Chowhound just as all the other chains do.

            2. I have made threads about this before...and have had the posts promptly deleted. Multiple times. I find it annoying. There should be board for grocery stores.
              You must have more cred with the moderaters as this has not been deleted. They don't take kindly to suggestions apparently. At least from me.

              2 Replies
              1. re: rochfood

                I rarely go to the chain board but this would be a good idea, if there is traffic. There could be a chain restaurant board and then a "food and related" shopping board that could include chain grocery stores, ethnic market questions, supplies, etc.

                1. re: chowser

                  Especially if separating them keeps OP's about seasonal items, discounts, specials and regional info in play further up the main page. With sheer volume a good deal of mashed up information slides down the main page quicker. Happens on the Home Cooking board when Recommends, not comments aren't keeping a thread in a current post position.

                  The Search function won't help if you don't know what information embedded in a thread you're missing out on.

                  So separating them might be the best of all possible options.

              2. or you Costco fans could pipe up

                2 Replies
                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  We do. We just don't create thread after thread after endless single-item thread the way TJ fans seem to.

                  1. re: jmckee

                    Why are you so angry? Just don't read them and scroll down and hit next page just like any of the other boards.

                2. The only description on the Chains board main is:
                  Tips for national and multiregional chain operations.

                  I think it would be helpful to remove outdated threads. Plenty of the TJ, Costo, Aldi, BJ, box store threads focus on discussing what's avail 'lately'...once lately is over...lock it/archive it. No reason to keep those. Plus seasonal item discussions of these stores will come up anew come the next season.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: HillJ

                    Why lock anything .. it keeps things together. And people are less likely to read a locked thread. Just let it go .. if there is a TJs or Costco thread ignore it. Clearly because there are lots of them there are people that are interested in them. People that are complaining are clearly in the minority.

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      Ok, locked is not necessary. I read many of these threads myself. The complaint is not about content, it's about the volume.

                  2. I'd say yes to this. Other than WF or Costco/Sam's club, there really aren't any "national" grocery chains I can think of (although Kroger is getting close!)

                    And as others have remarked, no other grocery chains have as much activity on the board.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: coney with everything

                      Grocery stores don't need to be national, just cover a wide region, eg. Safeway, Wegmans, Krogers. It's just like all chains aren't national but are still discussed on the Chains board.

                    2. I like the idea of Food Shopping as a separate category from Chains.

                      1. I think Trader Joe's should have its own board much like cheese and Kosher and BBQ/Smoking does.

                        It would get way more action each week than many of the other US regional boards get in a month or two.

                        1. I like things the way they are. Thanks to littleflower and other hounds for making the tj monthly thread. That was an excellent idea.

                          1. I've thought many times about making this same observation but didn't because I assumed it would be shot down/made fun of by the very people who seem to be doing just that right now.

                            I've pretty much stopped checking out the Chains board because it has largely become the "Trader Joe's plus a few scant other things" board. Clearly many people want to read about TJ's. Clearly many others feel the focus of the Chains board has become lost. Splitting it off may just be a very easy way to make everyone happy.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: rockycat

                              How is having so many TJs or Costco posts preventing someone from posting about Chilis McDonalds In and Out burger or other chain restaurants? I do not think it is. Clearly thing thing people are most interested in are these large box stores which are by definition chains.

                              If the board were chain restaurants I could see the complaint. But it isnt.

                              I am sure we are all dying to talk about the latest "innovation" from Taco Bell but that monthly TJ post is making me run to the border screaming.

                              1. re: cwdonald

                                I had the same thought, cwdonald. This board isn't going to magically spring to life and be filled with posts that don't currently exist if the TJ threads disappear.

                                The threads that dominate the 1st page and have the most activity are the ones with the most interest. If another chain becomes more popular those threads will work their way up the page.

                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                  That's true, popularity and trending both bring a thread up the main page. The point of creating the Cheese, BBQ, Special Diet and Gardening boards was in part to help bring greater focus and interest to them for CH's interested in those topics. When left on other Topical boards these discussions were lost. Each of those new boards now thrive on their own.

                                  It's not the content, I enjoy TJ threads. It's the volume. If Grocery Chains and Restaurant Chains can hold their own, why not separate them into two boards. There are many new ways to save and enjoy a variety of boards on CH, so I don't understand the issue with adding new boards that offer ease of use. Nothing would change about the content or the enjoyment but the ease of use would improve. That's already been demonstrated by topics that have broken off into their own boards.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    Not so sure about "thriving". Daily, there are new threads on Home Cooking and elsewhere that SHOULD be on cheese, special diets, etc. But flag to suggest they be moved and you get a no-no note from the Mods. Why add these boards if you aren't going to steer relevant posts there?

                                    The Home Cooking thread has been Balkanized by segregating ingredients and techniques to select boards.

                                    1. re: greygarious

                                      I don't fully understand your assessment, observations or experience making requests because my own differ.

                                      I know that when the Cheese board launched the CH Team did not want members to include cheese recipes. A few have appeared on Cheese threads but overall they remain on Home Cooking. I'd like them to appear on the Cheese board but it's not up to me.

                                      When I say thriving, I mean members are using them. BBQ, Spec Diets, Gardening are all fairly new, some just launched and there's plenty of new posts going up and plenty of posts that were in fact moved over.

                                      Home Cooking surpasses EVERY board on CH and for good reason. I've flagged plenty of OP's but they don't always get moved, again, the decision is not up to me.

                                      However, none of that changes the opinion about creating new boards in the future. The Chains board is popular and btwn Grocery chains and Restaurant chains there's enough content to launch two separate boards larger in content than the Cheese board is right now.

                            2. I only use this board occasionally but I do pick up on the occasional TJ or Costco thread. Not really a chainster except for these and maybe Fairway..

                              I think that division of this Board might make sense into a few different Boards. It would not satisfy the OP complaint about too many TJ posts, but it would decrease the confusion with the restaurants, at least and local shopping options.

                              Grocery Chains
                              Restaurant Chains
                              Online Food Shopping

                              Local food shopping (non-chain or completely local chain) really belongs on the regional boards.

                              1. The TJ thread used to be quarterly. It got so long that there were complaints; hence the change to monthly. I used to flag the single-item TJ threads to suggest they be moved to the current aggregate thread but the Mods refuse to do that, and rap the knuckles of those who post on such a thread to suggest to the OP that the post should be moved to the quarterly/monthly thread.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: greygarious

                                  There are 25 OP's on the main page of the Chains board with TJ's in the subject line right now. So yes-far more than monthly discussions. The single item threads are fun too. I'm not suggesting that anyone stop talking about TJ's. There's plenty of interesting discussion going on. Many of the topics have led me to some interesting visits to the store (thank you all!)

                                  But grocery chains could easily be it's own board with TJ's and Costco leading the charge.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    Should holidays have their own boards too? At Thanksgiving and Christmas you can't find anything but threads on those topics. I have to hit next page more than usual and more than I'd like but it is what it is, you can't really ask people to stop posting at Thanksgiving or suggest move it elsewhere.

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      As a comparison to this discussion, probably not because a) CHOW takes on the holidays with their own recipe line up each year and b) members discuss holiday recipes on HC board year round and way in advance with lots of overlapping discussions.

                                      Besides. I wouldn't suggest anyone move anything. Board creation decisions are made by the CH Team. This OP led to a suggestion: that two diff category types under Chains be separated into their own boards.

                                      The Home Cooking board encompasses all types of recipes in one place. Quite the feast!

                                  2. re: greygarious

                                    The mods literally *can't* move posts into a thread. Our software does not make that possible. We can split one thread into two, but we cannot make two threads into one.

                                    We're generally reluctant to enforce any kind of system where people may only post in specified ways. We've done it in a couple of instances (Coupon threads on some very active boards) but generally we want people to feel free to post how they'd like to post without there being a "right" way.

                                    There are people who would prefer that there only ever be one thread about specific restaurants and others who like to start new threads for long reviews. There are people who believe in searching out and bumping old threads on a subject when they have something to add and others who hate to see old threads brought back to life. From a moderation standpoint, we're not looking to drive people into any particular posting mode. If people find the monthly Trader Joe's threads useful, that's great. But if they want to start a new thread for some specific element of discussing Trader Joe's, that's okay, too.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      It really boils down to forethought, doesn't it? I make the effort to search key words before initiating a thread, preferring to add to an existing relevant one if I can find it. Today you deleted my new thread on the NY Times article about professional ad campaigns for produce, because it duplicated a prior thread on the same article. That one did not include the title of the article, which is what I had searched for on the FM&N board. Fine. Had you not done that and I had later come across the previous thread, I'd have flagged mine for removal. Had I made any points i thought bore relocating, I'd have rewritten and added them to the pre-existing thread.

                                      I dislike the way the Chains Board is peppered like buckshot with single-item topics, be they TJ, Costco, or a chain restaurant dish. Since the Mods do nothing to discourage them (which could be accomplished with a sticky suggesting aggregating single-item posts under threads for the chain business), it is unlikely that many posters will bother to look for appropriate pre-existing threads. If CH were so unwise as to establish separate boards for different chains, they would quickly become "chains" of disconnected statements assessing individual items and it would be virtually impossible to establish and locate exchanges of opinion.