Trader Joe’s Coming to Winston-Salem?

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It was announced today that Winston-Salem is getting a Trader Joe’s in the old Border’s space at Thruway Center. Read more here about the new store and additional North Carolina news for TJs!

Trader Joe’s Rally in BB&T Stadium – Downtown Winston-Salem 7/24/10 3pm

Sophie Mihalko and the crew from the local Trader Joe’s Facebook group are organizing a Trader Joe’s song that will be performed and video taped in the BB&T baseball stadium downtown at 3pm on Saturday, July 24th. Come on down and show your support! Wear your Hawaiian t-shirts, straw hats, and TJ’s gear, bring signs and poster boards, and make sure to bring water!

Here’s the song we’ll be singing:

Trader Joe Song Lyrics (By Susan Morris, founder of Local Dish Winston-Salem)

We long to see Hawaiian shirts
And hear your store bell ringing
Bring Good stuff to our neighborhood
And our city will be singing.

The City of Winston-Salem
Is where your next store needs to go
Our city is amazing
But we want a Trader Joe’s

Your Five Fiesta Layer Dip
and white Cheddar Soy Crisps Rule
The Salty Sweet Trail Mix
and Mango Salsa makes us drool

The City of Winston-Salem
Is where your next store needs to go
Our city is amazing
But we want a Trader Joe’s!

No more trips to Cary, Charlotte,
Concord, Raleigh, Chapel Hill
We want TJ’s in Winston
If we need to beg, we will.

The City of Winston-Salem
Is where your next store needs to go
Our city is amazing
But we want a Trader Joe’s!

Download the lyrics and song performance on Sophie and Suzy’s site,

Trader Joe’s Opening in Winston-Salem in 2010?

Okay, so the Greensboro opening obviously didn’t happen 🙁 The latest rumor, heard during a visit to a TJ’s in North Charlotte, is the plan to open a new Trader Joe’s in one of three locations next year:

  1. Winston-Salem
  2. Asheville
  3. Lake Norman

Reasons Trader Joe’s should move to Winston-Salem

There’s plenty of reasons Winston-Salem should get the location over Asheville and Lake Norman. Not the least of which are:

  1. Asheville is primarily a tourist destination – there will not be as many locals buying as there are here in W-S.
  2. Lake Norman residents can drive 10 minutes to an existing Charlotte location.

Go Winston Salem!!!

Trader Joe’s opening in Greensboro in 2009

While our efforts to bring Trader Joe’s to the Triad have not shown concrete results yet, I’m happy to announce that upon a recent visit to the Trader Joe’s in Chapel Hill, I was given a tip by an employee that they’re planning on opening one in Greensboro in 2009. So far this is only a rumour, but it sure would be nice to have one in Greensboro, 20 minutes drive from Winston, than the next closest one in North Charlotte, 1 hour and 15 minutes drive away. Also, with the market saturation tactics Trader Joe’s employs when they enter markets, it’s very probably that if Greensboro has a store, Winston-Salem will soon follow suit.

Use Trader Joe’s location request form to help bring TJ’s to Winston!

Please drop Trader Joe’s a quick note on their location request form letting them know we need TJ’s!  To really kick butt, you can also let Saul Centers (owners of Thruway, the location that might host Trader Joe’s) know we need TJ’s via their contact page.

Trader Joe’s Coming to the Triad?

Having spent much of our time in Southern California before moving to Winston, we spent plenty of time shopping at our favorite neighborhood grocery store, Trader Joe’s.  What separates Trader Joe’s apart from its competition (Whole Foods and Fresh Market, for example), is it’s “value pricing” module.  Ie. everything is cheap!  Ever heard of the “Two Buck Chuck”?  $2.99 Chardonnay ($1.99 in CA) from Charles Shaw that has to be the most successful selling low-priced bulk wine in history.

Low-Cost Private Label

Trader Joe’s not only has low-cost, private label goods, but foods and imported items that are, for the most part, preservative and artificial flavor free!  From Swiss cheeses (Gruyere, Emmentaler) to Asian curries (Thai, Indian) and ice creams (Mochis) to Belgian chocolates, a large assortment of affordable, high quality wines and local microbrews, and even a fresh, daily stocked bakery – Trader Joe’s has you covered.  The only problem up until now was it’s lack of NC locations.  In the last couple years Cary/ Raleigh area and south and north Charlotte received two Trader Joe’s each, for a total of four in NC.  Great news – but those of us from the Triad are still carpooling just over an hour on weekends to stock up on our favorite TJ’s yummies!

Is Trader Joe’s competing directly with Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Harris Teeter?

The question in our minds has been – why on earth is there no Trader Joe’s in the triad?  Part of the reason may be that one of TJ’s larget competitors, the Fresh Market, is based in Greensboro.  But in my mind, TJ’s attracts an entirely different (and larger) audience than does Fresh Market and Whole Foods – namely for the fact that it’s so darn affordable.  High quality and low cost – only Trader Joe’s does that.  They’re even cheaper than the little mom and pop Asian stores in the area.

Trader Joe’s creates its own markets

Put it this way – I grew up in California and frequented Trader Joe’s locations regularly – in fact, they practically replaced all grocery stores for me (Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs, etc.).  Here in NC, I visit Whole Foods and Fresh Market on occasion, but I’m definitely no regular.  I do most of my shopping at Harris Teeter.  Whole Foods and Fresh Market, from an organic/ quality standpoint, are thought to carry foods and goods similar to Trader Joe’s.  However, should a Trader Joe’s open up in town, Harris Teeter, not Whole Foods or Fresh Market, would suffer the most from my personal spending.  Why?  Because Trader Joe’s competes with Harris Teeter on a price level.  It carries Whole Foods/ Fresh Market quality goods at Harris Teeter prices.  My favorite Emmi Gruyere cheese (young, not cave aged, Gruyere that is quite tasty when you get a fresh batch) is exactly half the price at Trader Joe’s that it is at Harris Teeters – always.

Does Trader Joe’s realize the potential of the Triad market?

There’s Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Highpoint, and everything in between. With thousands of people commuting in and out of Charlotte and Raleigh stopping at Trader Joe’s on the way. The last time we were in a Charlotte TJ’s they asked us for our zip code – a quick weekend survey to tally where the most people are coming from. I’m sure they use this data to help them in their considerations for the next Trader Joe’s location.

We’re realizing it may take years before a Trader Joe’s arrives in the Triad – but when it does, history suggests that they will spread out to all the major Triad cities, as they have done in most markets in the past. Once they enter a market, they saturate it. Until then, please help by dropping Trader Joe’s a quick note on their location request form letting them know Winston-Salem wants TJ’s!

To cut a long story short, rumor has it that Saul Centers, owners of Thruway, is in talks with Trader Joe’s to add a store to the old Fresh Market location (Blockbuster is also moving out, citing excessive rent costs) in Winston-Salem.  If you check out Saul Center’s website, you’ll see that Trader Joe’s is one of their best clients.  Please drop Trader Joe’s a quick note on their location request form letting them know we need TJ’s!  To really kick butt, you can also let Saul Centers (owners of Thruway, the location that might host Trader Joe’s) know we need TJ’s via their contact page.

About The Author:

Alex has lived in Winston-Salem since 2004. He has seen the city grow up from a time when almost no one gathered downtown, to today's thriving and bustling city with great selections of restaurants, events, concerts, and more. He's proud to be part of the Arts and Innovation movement.

When he's not sipping a draft at Foothills brewery, chowing down on a tomato pie at Mozelle's for lunch, or dancing to bluegrass at the Ramkat, you'll catch him hitting balls at Miller Park, or hiking Pilot Mountain with his wife and two pups.

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July 18, 2011 12:34 pm

Enjoyed my visit in July 2011 to the Trader Joe’s in Charlotte. Hope one comes locally to Winston or Greensboro soon. I am a Vegetarian and need to be on low sodium foods. Trader Joe’s had nice healthy choices.

June 27, 2011 5:22 am

Chocolate covered almonds. Wasabi dried peas. Curry sauces. Thai Chile cashews. Mochis. Cilantro salad dressing. Two buck Cluck Wine.

Trader Joe’s, need I go on? We need you to open a store in Winston Salem, NC ASAP. Build it and believe me, they will come in droves.

March 9, 2012 9:16 pm

Not the only JOE that Greensboro ran out of town, Joe Crayton Clinard Jr AKA Cheap Joe for the last 20 years AKA Bikini Joe was preparing to open a Brand new Beach concept Swimwear store called AQUA on W Wendover (Target, Kohl’s etc. center) and the Charlotte-based owner said Swimwear in Greensboro is not what we need. But, High Point said a big yes and AQUA opened on Eastchester Drive just this week in the Office Depot plaza

January 31, 2012 1:13 am

I love the Scavenger Hunt in downtown Winston Salem – it is so much fun. Thanks for providing more details on it.

April 5, 2011 4:08 am

So I had been hearing rumors about Trader Joe’s coming into Thruway for many years. I think they actually did have talks with Saul Center (the owners of Thruway recently) that fell through. I’m guessing they would have gone in the old Bed Bath & Beyond space.

As far as I can tell Thruway is shooting themselves in the foot! More and more places are leaving, they must be charging astronomical rent.

As for TJ’s, I think at this point the best we can hope for is one coming to Greensboro.

September 8, 2010 1:16 pm

Is there a new store coming to an old Harris Teeter Building in Winston-Salem and if so, what is the location of the new store and in which Harris Teeter Building will the new store be located?

January 18, 2011 11:34 am

I too am from Southern California and grew up taking the five TJ’s in my town for granted. Now that I am here in W-S for grad school, I take trips to Charlotte and Raleigh, but it’s too far to go very often. The last time I was in Charlotte, the checkout girl told me that the Greensboro store had already opened! I was so excited – YAY! But then I tried in vain to locate it, and when I called the Charlotte store to ask for the address they said that a store was just “in the works.” It’s starting to seem like we will never get one.

If the thing about Fresh Market blocking TJ’s arrival to the Triad is true, it really makes me want to stop shopping there!