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Trader Joe’s won’t be moving to Gig Harbor

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on March 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm with No Comments »
March 24, 2011 3:09 pm

Until Trader Joe’s opens its Silverdale store this summer, folks across the bridge will still be required to visit the mainland to do their niche shopping.

Contrary to the persistent rumor – and quenching the passion surrounding it – there will be no Trader Joe’s to replace the QFC that’s closing in downtown Gig Harbor.

Fully 106 people may have added their approval to the Facebook site “Bringing Trader Joe’s to Gig Harbor,” but it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

So says Alison Mochizuki, Trader Joe’s spokeswoman.

“Gig Harbor is not in our two-year plan at this time,” she said Thursday afternoon.

And so says Rob Karlinsey, Gig Harbor city administrator.

“Trader Joe’s told us six times that they are not going into that spot,” he said. “They won’t move there.”

It’s not for not trying.

“There are a lot of people who want a Trader Joe’s, or Marlene’s, Whole Foods, Metropolitan Market,” Karlinsey said. “I’ve gotten gazillions of emails suggesting all these great stores. There’s been several grocers of notable names that have looked at the spot. (They say,) ‘Sorry, we can’t make it work.’”

He hasn’t given up. “We’re still holding out hope. There might still be a couple of retailers in play. We want to do whatever we can as a city.”

A month ago he sent some wine (that cost more than $2, and decanted into a personally etched bottle) to Trader Joe’s executives. He hasn’t heard back.

“We would love to have a Trader Joe’s or any grocery of that quality. Unfortunately, at this time, we have no commitment from Trader Joe’s,” said Jerome O’Leary, first vice president at Kidder Mathews Inc.

O’Leary and Kidder Mathews represent the owner of the space.

“We are actively marketing the space to all grocery users of that size, together with other quality retailers,” O’Leary said.

And said a Trader Joe’s supervisor in the Puget Sound area, “There are no plans at all in Gig Harbor.”

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