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Trader Joe’s to open Christiana store April 30


CHRISTIANA – Trader Joe’s, one of Delaware’s most-sought-after retailers, will open its Christiana Fashion Center location on April 30, the company announced Friday.

The grocery store has long operated a store near the Pennsylvania border in the Market Square shopping center, but consumers have clamored for the California-based brand to expand in the state.

It will open the 14,000-square-foot storefront vacated by the former Saks Off Fifth outlet store at 8 a.m. Friday, April 30. A brief ceremonial ribbon cutting will precede the opening, along with music, giveaways and more, the company said.

The new store features artwork that pays tribute to local landmarks and attractions, including the New Castle Courthouse, George Read House, the Chrysler Assembly Plant and the Delaware Blue Hen. Operating hours will be from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The store will be led by Chris Brown, a 15-year veteran of the company, and hiring is still underway for many roles.

Founded in California in 1967, Trader Joe’s was bought in 1979 by the Albrecht family of Germany, who also operated the Aldi discount grocery store. Aldi and Trader Joe’s share that connection, but the two have different ownership groups, Aldi Sud and Aldi Nord, respectively, after a division in the family. Aldi has five Delaware stores of its own.

Today, there are more than 500 Trader Joe’s stores nationwide, and the brand consistently ranks among the top consumer grocery brands in annual surveys. It built a loyal base of followers through its name-branded offerings and large inventory of fresh, gourmet, organic and vegetarian food.

The city of Wilmington tried to lure the brand downtown about a year ago with an appeal to residents to send the retailer requests for a location. That effort was unsuccessful, as the company will locate to the south of the city near the shopping destination of the Christiana Mall. There it will compete with a nearby Costco and Target, both of which offer groceries and have their own loyal shoppers.

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