Trader Joe’s and the University of Chicago’s Commercial Real Estate Operations group announced today that the national chain of neighborhood grocery stores will open a new store in the Hyde Park Shopping Center, expanding the grocery options available for residents of the South Side of Chicago. It is the goal of Trader Joe’s to open the store in fall 2019.
“We recognize the importance of a grocery store in this location to the community, and we carefully selected Trader Joe’s based on a number of factors, including community input and timeline to opening,” said Angie Marks, Associate Vice President of Real Estate Operations. “We look forward to working with Trader Joe’s to open its doors to the community later this year.”
“When we bring a new business into the community, we carefully consider the impact it will have on existing businesses. We’re thrilled to bring Trader Joe’s to the South Side and believe the grocer will be a solid, affordable addition to the grocery eco-system in our community, complementing our existing grocery options,” said Derek Douglas, Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Affairs.
In the highly competitive grocery industry, Trader Joe’s is known for its commitment to customer service and providing outstanding value in the form of unique, quality products at affordable prices. The grocer expects that the majority of its employees, known as Crew Members, will be hired from neighboring communities.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring a Trader Joe’s store to the Hyde Park community,” said Kenya Friend-Daniel, Trader Joe’s spokesperson. “As always, our focus is on making sure it’s a great neighborhood grocery store that offers quality products at everyday prices and is run by a team that is passionate about being a part of the community and providing a welcoming customer experience. We look forward to sharing more information about the new store and hiring efforts, as details are finalized.”
A November 2018 online survey of more than 3,400 community residents undertaken by the University found that the four most valued elements of a new grocery store were produce, price/value, quality meats, and specialty foods. In an optional field for comments at the end of the survey, more than 1,000 respondents offered unprompted comments for a specific grocery store, with 628 of those responses requesting Trader Joe’s – nearly three times more mentions than any other grocery store and more than all the other grocery store brands combined, indicating a high level of community demand for the grocer.
“The need to attract another quality, affordable grocery store is something I have heard consistently from my 5th ward constituents since last fall. I am very pleased to welcome Trader Joe’s as a community partner to the 5th Ward,” said Alderman Leslie Hairston.
“Trader Joe’s complements the existing grocery stores nearby, providing local residents an array of shopping options within a two-mile radius. Trader Joe’s is known for being a strong community partner and quality employer, and we are looking forward to their grand opening,” said Wallace Goode, Executive Director of the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce.
Trader Joe’s will occupy a portion of the space formerly leased to Treasure Island Foods, which closed when the chain shut down in October 2018. The University’s Commercial Real Estate Operations group continues to market the remaining square footage for complementary retail uses, and additional information will be shared with the community once it is available.
There are currently 21 Trader Joe’s stores across Illinois, five of which are within Chicago city limits. In 2019, Trader Joe’s was named America’s Best Employer by Forbes and also ranked as one of the Best Employers for Diversity. Trader Joe’s was also ranked on Forbes’ 2018 lists of America’s Best Employers, Best Employers for Women and Best Employer for New Grads.
Trader Joe’s is a chain of neighborhood grocery stores committed to providing customers outstanding value – the best quality products at the best everyday prices – and a welcoming, rewarding shopping experience. From unique foods and beverages you won’t find anywhere else, to daily staples such as eggs, milk, and 19¢ bananas, Trader Joe’s stores carry a selection of domestic and imported products that have all been approved by a Trader Joe’s tasting panel. Trader Joe’s began in 1967 in the Los Angeles area, and has since expanded to nearly 500 stores, in 41 states and Washington, D.C.