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When Trader Joe's comes to a Whole Foods town...

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we the tweeple Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:33 PM
Original message
When Trader Joe's comes to a Whole Foods town...
Edited on Sat May-02-09 02:35 PM by we the tweeple
Has this happened to anyone? In my neck of the woods, it did, and it's been quite interesting.

It's not in the same exact town, but they are only blocks apart. I was so fed up with the WF (for their disorganization, mainly) that I welcomed not having to travel so damn far to the nearest TJ's. I thought about how sweet it would be to give WF competition. Well, interestingly enough, I have discovered (primarily by an article written in a local paper), that TJ's isn't always such a great deal. Why?

*They don't have a bulk section. You have to buy in quantity.

*They don't have as many choices.

*WF has a 365 house label that has many more items.

*TJ's is a subsidiary of Aldi's and like that chain, they are mostly convenience items so there is too much packaging.
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. Trader Joes is great for single people.
I wouldn't think families would do as well there.
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we the tweeple Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I see families in there all the time...They have great prices on frozen items,
which is "perfect" (what parents would think, I should say) for parents on the go.
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. We have both, and the TJ I sometimes shop at does have a
'bulk' section, so I'm not sure where that's coming from.

WF's is overpriced hype, imo. The one closest to my house stinks so of fish that I'd rather not go into it. Fresh fish shouldn't smell that bad . . .
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. TJs didn't do well here
but the outfit that is doing very well is Sunflower Market, not ready to go nationwide but an amazing whole foods/gourmet supermarket. They have some bulk items and some prepackaged.

There's only one in this town so they're not giving WF that much competition, but they will if they open another one. They're always jam packed.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. They are two different business models, and not really in major competition
with each other. I love them both, but for different reasons.
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deoxyribonuclease Donating Member (206 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
6. I live 1 block away from TJ's and about 4 blocks away from a WF
I shop at TJ's more often because it's closer and most of the items I need are much cheaper.

For single people like me, buying in bulk isn't always feasible when it comes to fresh produce and meats.

I agree on TJ not having as large a selection as WF, but my TJ's here are kind of small in terms of physical area they occupy.

WF is still gets a LOT of business though, and if I'm taking a walk around the neighborhood and decide I need to get some groceries or a quick snack, I'll stop by there.

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
7. Take it you're not shopping with Food Stamps?
Whole Foods has better cheese, prepared and baked goods selections. I like Trader's house brands, better, though. Feel vaguely guilty about shopping at both.

Welcome to DU. :9
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we the tweeple Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Actually, I could qualify in spades but choose not to...my guardian angels
allow me to be able to shop there and buy good food, but I also live a bare bones life so I don't have the kind of monthy expenses which take money away from other people's budgets.

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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
9. They're for different things.
TJ's sells staples and convenience items with a bias toward natural food and international items. The stores and small, but laid out well to cram a lot of food into that space. Many of their items are house brands.

TJs is a good deal cheaper for most things. WF has a bigger selection and may be cheaper on bulk items (keep in mind that their bulk selection keeps shrinking.) House brand items are much cheaper at TJs for most things than WF's comparable items. Whole Foods' produce is overpriced and frequently imported. TJ's produce is cheap and frequently imported, and generally packaged in multiples, though they have started selling some produce items unpackaged with a price per piece.

Neither is a union employer.

I do most of my shopping at my local co-op (cheaper, union, more local organic produce) but of the two I'd much rather shop at TJs, and generally only stop in at Whole Foods when I need something nobody else sells locally.
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NV Whino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
10. In my town TJs and Whole Foods are literally 3 doors apart
TJs is always packed. I can count the customers in WF on one hand most times. Over-priced and over-hyped.
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hulklogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
11. There's nothing more exciting than grocery snobs arguing about which overpriced chain is better.
ha ha ha ha ha
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
12. Locked. Poster is no longer with us.
Thanks.
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