Trader Joe’s, one of Delaware’s most-sought-after retailers, is quietly planning a second location, according to county records.
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.
According to a fit-out permit approved by New Castle County on April 2, the former Saks Off Fifth outlet store in the Christiana Fashion Center will become a Trader Joe’s. The permit was first reported by The News Journal.
Rumors about Trader Joe’s arrival to the former fashion retailer space, which closed in October, have circulated on social media for a few months. The company did not reply to a Delaware Business Times inquiry last month about the location.
Founded in California in 1967, Trader Joe’s shares the parent company for discount German grocery store Aldi, which operates five stores in Delaware, after it bought the brand in 1979.
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 apparently 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.