Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Colorado Springs shut out as Trader Joe's plans 3rd Colorado location in suburban Denver

By Rich Laden Published: August 6, 2013

Colorado Springs has once again come up as dry as an empty bottle of Two-Buck Chuck when it comes to getting Trader Joe's to come to town.

The popular California-based specialty grocery said this week it plans to open a 10,000-square-foot store at the Cherry Hills Marketplace in Greenwood Village, which will be its third Colorado location to go with previously announced stores in Denver and Boulder. All three stores will open in 2014, said Alison Mochizuki, a Trader Joe's spokeswoman.

But Trader Joe's has no plans to open a Colorado Springs location until 2015 at the earliest, she told The Gazette on Tuesday.

"At this time we don't have Colorado Springs in our two-year plan," Mochizuki said in an email. In a follow-up phone conversation, she said "two years" means there are no plans for a store in the Springs the rest of this year and all of 2014.

Mochizuki declined to elaborate on why Trader Joe's isn't targeting the Springs at this time or whether plans could change.

Broker Mark Useman of Sierra Commercial Real Estate in Colorado Springs said Trader Joe's is typically tight-lipped about its expansion plans. To his knowledge, Useman said its real estate representatives haven't been scouting the Springs.

He speculated Trader Joe's wants to become established in the Denver-Boulder area with its stores and supply and distribution networks before expanding to secondary cities such as Colorado Springs.

"If they do well in Denver, I would think that we would be a candidate at some point," Useman said. "Everybody likes the name, likes the concept and wants to bring them down here. But I think they'll do that when they're ready. There's no signs of it right now."

Trader Joe's probably is targeting trade areas with higher household incomes, said broker Jay Carlson of Front Range Commercial in the Springs.

Colorado Springs has its share of upper-end residents, but not necessarily the density of higher-income households that Trader Joe's wants to see, he said.

If Trader Joe's comes to town, it probably would open a store on the north or northeast side, and then perhaps a second store on the southwest side, Carlson said.

The first two Trader Joe's are under construction at East Eighth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Denver and Boulder's Twenty Ninth Street mall, according to the Denver Post.

Trader Joe's is popular for its specialty food products and low prices on many items - notably Charles Shaw wines that sold for $1.99 and became popularly known as "Two-Buck Chuck." Earlier this year, the price rose to $2.49.

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Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen

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