Trader Joe’s Spokane

2011 November 6

TJ596 Trader Joes Spokane

Trader Joe’s Spokane store opened last Friday, October 28th. It was, and still is, a mad house.

For those of you not familiar with Trader Joe’s (no it’s not run by “Hey Joe”), it’s a specialty grocery store that has a lot of unique items, quite a bit of organic, low prices and many items branded especially for them. Actually they are kind of difficult to explain, if you’ve not been to one. This is exactly the kind of place that I will miss when living in the Philippines.

Spokane waited many years for this store to open. Spokane is in the top 100 cities by population in the US, but often times is late to get the more desired stores, such as this and the Apple Store that opened here last year.

If the reception so far is any indication, I do not see how they could possibly do any better with sales than they have so far. The line goes out the door and you’re basically on a conveyor built (not really) going through the store. You can not move forward until the person in front of you does – that’s how crowded it is. Obviously it won’t stay this way, at least it better not. I do not enjoy these kinds of crowds. Reminds me of some of the malls I’ve visited in Manila, but this is in a much smaller space.

No, I will not find this kind of store in the Philippines. I will not find the kind of items they carry in many instances either. In some cases there are good and even better alternatives to be had in the Philippines. Other things will just be missed I’m afraid.

I wonder how many more years before this kind of place could be successful in the bigger cities such as Manila, Cebu and Davao? Is there enough foreign population and/or demand within the younger pilipinos to make such a place desirable and profitable? I know Davao has stores such as the Swiss Deli that specialize in imported and otherwise difficult to find products.

What do you think, is Davao is ready for this kind of yet?

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. November 6, 2011

    Hey Randy – Did you know there is a Trader Joe’s in Davao?

    OH, hold on… the name is actually “Joe the trader” and it’s a little convenience store not far from where we used to live in Marfori. ;-)

    • November 7, 2011

      I enjoy the play on names that are used in the Philippines. Maybe his isn’t intended, but many are. Some are very clever indeed.

  2. Lyn permalink
    November 8, 2011

    Sir Randy,

    Trader Joe’s is a fair grocery store I guess. The building is nice and cute. Thank you for sharing it and more article like this I hope.

    • November 8, 2011

      I think most would consider Trader Joe’s a specialty store, though it might be possible to buy all your groceries there.

      The locations that they pick are always crowded for parking and the size of the stores are not large. They have a plan and are following it. It seems to work for them.

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