Media Advisory: Trader Joe’s: What will opening mean for local grocery retail landscape?

Trader Joe’s is scheduled to open in Winston-Salem on Oct. 26. The 13,000-square-foot store will become the seventh Trader Joe’s Co. location in North Carolina and the first in the Triad. Other stores are located in Cary, Chapel Hill, Charlotte and Raleigh.

Marketing professor Sheri Bridges, an expert in consumer and brand-related behavior, says Trader Joe’s is an example of  “adventure-shopping” — a place that changes up their product mix based on customer response. “Trader Joe’s brings a new level of excitement to grocery shopping. When you go in, you never know for sure what you will find,” says Bridges. “Other area grocery retailers may try to enhance the shopping experience with more sample stations or food demonstrations, but it’s difficult to capture the fun when most of the same products are sold at every store.”

What sets Trader Joe’s apart is its cult brand, Bridges says. “They have a tribe of customers who are evangelical — who love the store and get excited about it. They are vocal and fanatical with their support.”

Bridges, who teaches marketing and is the faculty director of the Wake Forest University Center for Retail Innovation, says more of these unique, small and highly targeted community-oriented retail concepts are likely to emerge. “Customers enjoy the idea that a retailer can offer ‘something special for me’.”


About Wake Forest University: Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

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