From the 6000+-member Bring Trader Joe’s to Asheville Facebook group, a local woman claims the company has bought property in Asheville near Long Shoals:

Yes, this is hearsay. We’re not saying it’s anything else. But a Long Shoals/South Asheville location near Biltmore Park sounds like a good choice for the chain.

It’s not the first time this rumor has surfaced. From a June 19 post to the group:

I heard a rumor this weekend that Trader Joe’s has chosen a location in Asheville, off Long Shoals Road at the entrance to Biltmore Park. I’m not sure if this person is reliable but they seemed very sure about this information. Anyone else heard this?

Anyone have more details? We’ll follow up with this claim after the July 4 holiday. Stay tuned!

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26 Comments

  1. Trader Joe’s in Asheville YEAHHHHH!

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  5. Miss Daisy says:

    Considering that we drive to Charlotte or Greenville for TJ’s now, I’m guessing most of us will probably drive to the south side of town. TJ’s is often found in up and coming, upscale areas. They shouldn’t compete with anyone too much. They won’t have local/fresh stuff to speak of, and they aren’t a full service grocery.

    • Orbit DVD says:

      Why would you drive that far for groceries?

      • I don’t know anyone who shops at Trader Joe’s like a normal grocery store, for their regular weekly or more-than-once-a-week type everyday shopping. It’s the kind of place one goes to once every few weeks to pick up snacks and cheese and frozen entrees for when you don’t have time to cook and cheap wine, if you’re into that sort of thing. They also do certain products extremely well, and at prices that hit a sweet spot between “bargain” and “luxury,” so fans of those products are willing to drive for an hour or two every couple of months to re-stock their supplies. There may be fanatics who go more often than that, and I’m sure there are people who don’t like to shop who try to get *all* their shopping done there, too, but then there are outliers in every population . . .

        • I have never stepped foot in a Trader Joe’s, so forgive my ignorance. I’m just curious what is so special about them to warrant a trip an hour or two out of town. If it is just cheaper product then doesn’t your time and gas money negate that?

          • Two Buck Wine is worth the drive.

          • To a retail business owner with no free time, I imagine it is fairly incomprehensible. But for a bunch of retired or semi-retired folks, or stay-at-home parents, or the legions of Asheville’s underemployed, or even just people who have their weekends free, an excursion down to Greenville doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Especially if you do other things while you’re down there, or meet friends from elsewhere for lunch, etc., etc.

            Also, again, it’s not a straight up *value* proposition (it’s not *just* about the price), except possibly in the case of the cheap wine. It’s the products themselves that people enjoy, and want to re-purchase, and they’re brand-specific, only-available-in-Trader-Joe’s store products. If you have no brand preferences, and can purchase exclusively based on value and convenience, I guess I . . . envy you? But most people find flavors or packaging configurations or other things about food products that they like, and that they want to experience again.

            Would it be equally incomprehensible to you if someone said they were a big fan of In-n-Out Burger or the Chop’t salad chain, and wished a location would open in Asheville? I mean, there are already LOTS of places to get burgers or salads here, why should anyone want another one?

  6. Crappy parking and access! Make it a real Trader Joes! Whoo hoo!

  7. I doubt they’ll squirm very much if TJs does indeed open in this spot as it just isn’t centrally located enough to draw from where the bulk of their Buncombe customers likely live — Downtown, North and West Asheville.

    South Asheville just isn’t that easily accessible from the rest of the city and it mostly closer to the city center where people most seem to be clamoring for a TJs.

    Just a thought, but the site of the now closed Tripps restaurant would have the potential for a great spot for a TJs.

  8. Ingle’s has such a hold on the medium income grocery business. I am sure TJ’s coming to A’ville will be met with lots of resistance. I would dare to guess that, in part, is why TJ is not here yet. There is a good deal of empty retail space that Ingle’s owns and blocks any competition from access…

    • That’s an excellent point. Ingles is the closest thing to a monopoly in Western NC. I’d love to see someone shake them up a bit. Their produce is frequently horrible and their service is downright rude. The only options are the very expensive “healthy foods” stores or the scary Sav More… TJ’s would make them squirm a bit…

      • luther blissett says:

        You know that Sav-Mor is owned by Ingles, right?

      • Or the Bi-Los.

        Or the Wal-Marts.

        Or the previous Harris Teeter (now Lowes Foods).

        Or the Fresh Market (which isn’t as expensive or as healthy as Earthfare/Greenlife).

        Or the Amazing Savingses (if you don’t care much about expiration dates).

        Or the WNC Farmers Market or the tailgate markets for produce. The latter are pricey, but you get what you pay for. If you shop carefully, you can pretty much always beat grocery store prices at the WNC market over on Brevard, especially if you can split boxes of things with friends, family or co-workers.

        I’m in favor of more options, including the pre-packaged wonderland that is Trader Joe’s, but it’s sort of crazy to claim that Ingles has any kind of monopoly in this area. There’s no question that they completely and totally *dominate* it, but that’s a different thing entirely.

        • Keep in mind that Ingles is also the largest job creator in the county besides Mission Hospital. I’m not their biggest supporter (the one on Haywood is pretty bad), but for the most part they have kept up with the times. They told us 15 years ago that they would NEVER carry Horizon milk. Now they do.

    • Ingles does have a great hold on the area but at least their keeping up with the Jones (Publix). The biggest fear for Ingles is a Publix moving in, not Trader Joes. TJs hits a very specific group and is not for everyone.

  9. Actually TJs market is for everyone. Especially the market with a high volume of traffic and close to the highway. Demographics mean everything. Biltmore Park Town Square draws from a very diverse crowd of people and incomes. This location as well as Airport Road would create a profitable store without a huge advertising budget thus saving money.

    • “Biltmore Park Town Square draws from a very diverse crowd of people and incomes. ”

      Um, methinks you misunderstand the meaning of “diverse.” Or do you mean there are people who drive Lexuses as well as people in Range Rovers?

      I would have loved to see a more central location as well. I’m not believing anything until I hear something from TJ officially. I’ve been teased too many times in the last five years.

      • Your right, we should not count our chickens before they hatch. As for diverse, I meant income range. And all incomes drive fancy cars. Have you driven by a trailer park lately?

      • luther blissett says:

        Trader Joes seems to expand to new cities in predictable ways: they go for relatively cheap real estate that’s near a freeway exit. Having something that’s off I-26 works better for them than something in town. (The Knoxville store opening in August is just off I-40).

  10. I’m certainly no marketing expert but this spot seems a little out of the way given that, one would presume, the bulk of TJ customers in Asheville would tend to live downtown, North, and West Asheville.

  11. Saw more surveyors out there this week at that location. Seems like a great spot but entering and exiting is gonna be a chore if not a safety hazard for any business that moves onto that property.

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