Trader Joe’s opens its Mandarin store on Wednesday, Oct. 11, its second in the Jacksonville area. The grocery store is at 11112 San Jose Blvd., in the Claire Lane Shopping Center, which is anchored by Barnes & Noble and Mandarin Ale House.
The first Trader Joe’s in the area opened in 2014 in Jacksonville Beach. The Mandarin store is 13,700 square feet, which is slightly larger than the Beach store. A typical Winn-Dixie or Publix is usually about 46,000 square feet.
But Trader Joe’s has built a strong following with its hip, casual feel. Most of the items sold are under its own brands and have no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. There are no membership cards or sales.
The latest survey by Market Force put Trader Joe’s as the third favorite grocery chain in the United States, just behind Publix and Wegmans, which were tied for first. H-E-B and Aldi round out the top five.
In Consumer Reports’ 2017 ranking, Wegmans was No. 1, followed by Market Basket, then Trader Joe’s and Publix.
Wegmans has been located only in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, but last year announced plans to expand to North Carolina. Market Basket is only in New England.
Meanwhile, the non-traditional grocery market in Mandarin keeps getting more crowded. Earth Fare opened in August just one mile south on San Jose Boulevard. Whole Foods Market is just one mile north and Native Sun Natural Foods Market is just north of that.
Trader Joe’s, which was founded in 1958, now has 461 stores in 41 states, but is expanding quickly. The Mandarin store is one of five that it is opening this week.
Click here to read the article from the Florida Times-Union.
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