Trader Joe’s Eyes End of ’23 for New Florida Location

Grocer joins other food retailers opening in Sarasota-Bradenton market
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Trader Joe's is working on stores in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., and Forest Hills, N.Y., to open by the end of this year.

Trader Joe’s is opening a new store in the Sarasota-Bradenton area in Florida. The California-based retailer, which welcomed customers to new locations in Connecticut, Utah and California earlier this year, aims to be up and running by the end of the calendar year.

The latest Trader Joe’s is located within The Shoppes at University Town Center. It is the 23rd Trader Joe’s in Florida and the second one in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.

[Read more: “Trader Joe’s Takes Legal Action Against Union”]

As that community has grown in population over the last few years, more grocers are moving in, too. In addition to Trader Joe’s, Sprouts Farmers Market is putting down roots there with the planned addition of a 23,000-square-foot store in downtown Sarasota. This spring, Publix Super Markets opened a 51,000-square-foot store at The Landings in Sarasota. 

In other Trader Joe’s news, the latest episode of the retailer’s podcast delved into why the grocer staked its claim in private label. “Now, historically, this came about in a way for other retail grocers to have something that competed with national brands in their stores, and it was often a lesser than version of those national brands. And Trader Joe's came along and flipped that whole story on its head and said, 'We think this product is so good, we want our name on it.' It's not just because we like to see our name in lights, but we do. We put them on the outside of the store so that you can find it,” explained Matt Sloan, the retailers VP of marketing.

Marketing director and co-host Tara Miller shared how Trader Joe’s is able to offer value to shoppers with these elevated store brands. “When we negotiate a deal with our vendors, the manufacturers who produce those products for us, we pull out all the costs that are usually associated with brands. So, we pull out slotting fees. We don't charge our vendors to produce advertising for us,” she said. “Because we're pulling out all of those costs for a private label product, we can then charge our customers less than they would pay for a comparable quality product somewhere else.”

Sloan went on to note that this model is being emulated elsewhere in the food retailing business. “This idea of own brand, this retailer's own brand, that's how a lot of consultants in consultants speak are pitching this idea to other companies now because they see it as a way for a retailer, a grocery store, to stand for something,” he declared.

With more than 500 stores in 40-plus states, Trader Joe’s is No. 27 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company as one of its Retailers of the Century.

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