Tampa's first Trader Joe's opens, attracts long line of people - WNCN: News, Weather

Tampa's first Trader Joe's opens, attracts long line of people

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The store opens Friday morning The store opens Friday morning

People started lining up at midnight to be among the first inside the new Trader Joe's in South Tampa when the store opened its doors at 9 a.m. Friday.

The line stretched around the building when Tampa's first Trader Joe's opened for business.

Christain Estrada from Tampa was first in line at midnight. He says he's been to other Trader Joe's openings.

"Got to get my wine, got to get my two buck chuck and i want sweet potato," he said.

As excited customers entered the store, they were greeted by employees handing out flower leis.

Tampa Police had been gearing up for heavy traffic at the new location at Swann and Dale Mabry. TPD had a dozen special event team officers for traffic control who also checked the neighborhood for illegal parking.

People who live nearby think the store will attract a lot of people to the neighborhood.

“It's not such a big lot they have there and its going to cause quite a bit of congestion but I’m excited,” said Marilyn Silverman who lives nearby.

But the traffic congestion is expected to dull the excitement over a new shopping option.

“It's affordable, it’s good quality food, kind of unique and organic type of things but it’s not as expensive as some of the other type of places,” said mother of three Allison Hobby. Hobby plans to walk to the store to avoid the traffic.

There is a Fresh Market and Publix within a few blocks of the new store. News Channel 8 reached out to those stores to see how they plan on dealing with the competition.

“We welcome competition. We differentiate ourselves from the competition by offering premiere customer service, quality products and a clean, pleasant shopping experience,” said Brian West from Publix.

“Whole Foods Market has the highest quality standards in the industry. Our quality, product transparency and unique shopping experience sets us apart from any other retailer. That’s something you can’t find or buy anywhere else,” said Jeremy Jones with Whole Foods.

“Their prices, their prices are much better,” is one reason Silverman thinks Trader Joe’s is in a class of its own.

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