South Bend Trader Joe’s to open Friday morning

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Years of letter-writing and social media campaigns are poised to pay off.

Trader Joe’s will open a new grocery store in South Bend’s Eddy Street Commons Friday morning at 8:00 a.m.

“We don’t do a lot of fancy market research. At Trader Joe’s we locate stores when we find the right neighborhood and when a community wants to welcome us. So, for over a decade, communities in South Bend and Michiana have been doing Facebook pages, they’ve been writing letters, they’ve been writing emails, ‘we need a Trader Joe’s here’ so finally we found the right location,” said store captain Mike McCall.

Trader Joe’s is not out to be the biggest store in town.  At 12,500 square feet, its footprint is a fraction of the size of its big box competitors.

Trader Joe’s also has its own brand of shelf stocking.  “So, you’re not going to be able to come and get your Coke and Doritos, but what you’re going to find is 90, 95 percent of our products are private labelled Trader Joe’s items,” McCall said.

Among the more popular Trader Joe’s private labelled products is cookie butter and the Mandarin orange chicken.

All private label products are guaranteed not to contain high fructose corn syrup, GMOs or artificial dyes.

“We’re a smaller store. We carry about 3,000 to 4,000 items, not like a typical grocery store which carries 30 to 40,000 items.  And so, when a product doesn’t sell well, it’s no longer a value, we discontinue it,” said McCall.  “So, when you’re walking into a Trader Joe’s, you are kind of walking into a hall of fame of grocery items.”

At the store, bananas are sold individually—not by the bunch.  They have been priced at 19-cents apiece since 1999.  The store also sells its produce by the piece.

Trader Joe’s does not accept coupons, doesn’t have sales, and doesn’t grant discounts through membership cards.

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